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A HISTORY OF 

NEENJH 

Compiled by 

S. F. SHATTUCK, Chairman 

MRS. HUGH W. ROBERTS > MRS. ARTHUR RITGF.R 
JOHN TOLVERSEN > AMBROSE OWEN 
MAYHEW MOTT > EDWARD JANDREY 

C Lx"—*: — r) 

In collaboration with the 

N KEN AH H ISTOR I C A I . SOC I ETY 

Published Privately 
NEENAH WISCONSIN 
1958 



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COMPOSED, PRINTED AND BOUND BY 
GEORGE BANTA COMPANY, INC. 
MENASHA, WISCONSIN 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



2- 



People from the length and breadth of our Twin Cities have helped to assemble 
the material in this volume. To single out a few who have been especially helpful 
is hazardous, but we take that risk: 

John Studley— John’s roots are deep in Neen all’s past. His treatise on “Journalism” 
and his summary of the 1920’s are but symbols of his cooperation. 

C. H. Velte — Charley is responsible for the research and write-up of the “Legal 
Profession” and in innumerable ways has aided the committee. 

Charlotte McIntyre — Charlotte contributed her literary “know-how” and made the 
1940’s one of the more readable portions of the book. 

Lowell '/jabel — Lowell’s treatment of “Communications” in Part II is a delight. 

Dr. J. M. Donovan — Out of his long association with the dental profession, not only 
in Neenah, but in the State of Wisconsin, came the doctor’s contribution in 
Part II. 

Ebbe Berg — Ebbe did a painstaking job of research on “Growth and Development 
of the Labor Movement.” 

Dr. and Mrs. T. D. Smith — -No one associated with the medical profession was so 
uniquely fitted to deal with that section of Neenah’s history as were Dr. and 
Mrs. T. D. Smith. 

Mrs. Arthur Ritger- If we may invade the membership of the Historical Committee, 
we would commend Mrs. Ritger for her persistence in assembling the Church 
History. 

Mrs. William Burger Helen carried the secretarial work of the committee from its 
inception to the spring of 1956. 

Mrs. Raymond Smith -Without whose persistent research in so many fields and her 
voluminous typing, this project would still be dragging its heels. 

Mrs. Hugh Roberts Another member of the Committee. Her history of Neenah’s 
schools is almost a book in itself. 

To this list we add our thanks to Mrs. M. L. Brandsmark for her painstaking 
research and to those who helped with photographic material: George Huebsch, 
and the Card & Camera Shop, Jim Auer and others at the News Record office, the 

iii 



IV 



A HIS T O R Y () F N E E N A II 



Soo Line Railway, Munroe Studio, Howard Angermeyer, Vanderwalker Studio, 
Jack Casper, Harrison Smith, Joe Engel and Bill Miller. And to Harry Bishop 
and E. A. Kalfahs, who helped immeasurably with both photographic material and in- 
formation. Other helpers, too numerous to mention, are noted throughout the con- 
tents of the book. We trust they found the joy and satisfaction they deserve through 
participation in this work. 

S. F. Shattuck 
Chairman 






FOREWORD 



E ighty years ago, a young man, G. A. Cunningham, pub- 
lished a book spanning the years between the coming of the 
first white man to this region and the year 1878. Cunning- 
ham was editor of the Neenah Qazette , and his book, “History 
of Neenah,” was printed in his little print shop on the second floor of 
the Pettibone Block (site of the First National Bank). 

Eight decades have come and gone since Cunningham signed oft'. It 
was at John Tolversen’s suggestion that a committee came into being 
during the spring of 1955 to consider what might be done to record, for 
the benefit of posterity, the essential facts, happenings and move- 
ments of those 80 years. Names of that committee appear at the 
end of this foreword. 

The committee began its work by listing the various fields and areas 
of community life to be explored, and delegating specific responsi- 
bilities to many citizens. The response was generous. A vast array of 
historical data from churches, lodges, societies, schools, municipal 
functions, sports, the professions and industry flowed in. Only 30% 
of Neenah’s commercial enterprises responded. 

It was obvious at the outset that our problem was more complex 
than Cunningham faced in the i8yo\s. He could keep Neenah quite 
single in his thinking, whereas now life in the Twin Cities is inter- 
twined, industrially, socially, economically and religiously — one Com- 
munity Chest, one Chamber of Commerce, one sewage disposal plant, 
to mention but three of the many factors that bring not only Menasha, 
but Appleton, into any historical study of Neenah. 

We make no apologies for the fact that this is the work of amateurs. 
On the contrary, we invite the reader to share it with us. At the rear 
of each chapter of Part 1 will be found blank pages on which we hope 
readers will make note of anything that they feel would add to the 
value of the volume. 

We particularly urge our readers to note any inaccuracies. 

The above comment is made in the consciousness that Neenah will 
recognize her centennial of cityhood in 1973. As that event looms up 



VI 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A II 



over the horizon, it may well be that some more competent historians 
will desire to add to, or re-do these pages. 

To this end we suggest that all comments and criticisms be passed 
to an officer of the Neenah Historical Society. 

You will note that this volume is in two parts. 

Part I takes a bird’s eye view of the Cunningham era, evaluates the 
significance of the Fox waterway in the development of this area, and 
brings into view the many products of science, research and invention 
that have so profoundly altered the lives of our people, particularly 
since the turn of the century. 

Part I then continues as a story, by decades, recording, in condensed 
form, the growth of Neenah from its crude beginnings to the robust 
and cultured community of 1958. 

In Part II will be found a major portion of the source material that 
came in from interested citizens throughout the length and breadth 
of our Twin Cities. 

Through use of the Table of Contents, reference may be made to 
specific subjects, as one scans the decade material and desires fuller 
information. 



S. F. Shattuck, Chairman 



Mrs. Hugh (He 1 .en) Roberts 
Mrs. Arthur (Helen) Ritger 
Edward Jandrey 



Mayhew Mott 
Ambrose Owen 
John S. Tolversen 



Ac KNOW LE DG M E NTS 
Foreword 



CONTENTS 



Part I 

The Cunningham Era in Perspective 

Comparative Dates of Village and Cityhood— Neenah and Menasha — 
Treaty of Cedars, and Government Project to Civilize Indians — 
Harrison Reed Contracts to Purchase Indian Lands in Winnebago 

Rapids Harvey Jones Furnishes Money His Early Death- 

Neenah is Named How Doty Island Came to be Divided Between 

the Twin Cities Significance of the Fox River Navigation at 

Neenah 

The i 840^ to i86o , s 

First Town Meeting Early Social Organizations The “Green” 

—First Religious Service and Early Churches Oak Hill Cemetery 

— Menasha Wooden Ware First School Telegraph Comes to 

Neenah Laudan Fields Cooper Trade First Paper Mill 

Impact of Science and Invention 

Significance of the Auto 

The 1870’s 

Some Commercial and Industrial Beginnings Riverside Park- 

Neenah Achieves Cityhood “First” Telephone Exchange School 

Growth Early Ice Houses- Gas Lamps Replace Oil 

The 1880’$ 

Neenah Library Association Organized -Eclectic Reading Circle, 

Women's Tuesday Club, Y.T.&F. Club, W.C.T.U. School Expansion 

Stevens Roller Crushing Process- Electric Power and Interurban 

Transportation City Hall Built First Sewer System- -“Petti- 

bone Block” Burns C. B. Clark Elected to State Legislature 

The 1890’s 

Interurban Service Economic and Social Progress Lincoln School 

Built- Football Championships — - — Community Water System 



Vlll 



A II I S T O R Y O F N E E N A H 



The 1900’s 67 

Boys’ Brigade Emergency Society and VNA Central Labor 
Body Formed -Commercial Movement -Industrial Progress 

Kimberly School Built Church growth -Theda Clark Hospital 

Neenah Auditorium Company 

The igio’s 81 

World War I A Byproduct of War First Playground Equipment 

-Shattuck Park Young Women’s Club Kimlark Building 

Church Movement Industrial Ins and Outs Commercial Enter- 
prise “Bill” Clark Enters Public Life No License Campaign 

Valley Inn 

The 1920’s 97 

Women’s Suffrage "Disastrous Sleet Storm Social, Industrial and 

Commercial Progress -Boy Scouts First ILYA Regatta Dotv 

Cabin Mrs. Stuart Presents Kimberly Point Park to City — Senior 

High School Built 

The 1930’s 109 

Bank Holiday Combatting Unemployment Business as Usual 

with Our Schools Basketball Team to State Tournament Indus- 
trial and Commercial Picture Broadens Church Matters Sewer 

and Water Systems First Full-Time Assessor Parks 

The 1940’s 123 

“Pearl Harbor”- Draft Boards and Rationing Industry Converts 

to War Army-Navy “E” Award VE and VJ Days and a City 

Returns to Peacetime Pursuits Chamber of Commerce Swim- 
ming Pool Industrial Expansion Churches Keep Pace — 

Broadening Commercial Base Oak Street Bridge 

The 1950’s 143 

History in the Making Full-Time Mayor City Divided into Ten 

Wards Significant Industrial, Social and Professional Movement 

-New Home for VNA Marathon Expands into Neenah, Merges 

with Canco ICP Moves to Neenah New Kimberly-Clark Main 

Office Merger of Neenah Paper Company and Kimberly-Clark 

Corporation Interest in City and Area Planning Police Boat— 

— Venetian Parade Power Boating Riverside Park Pavilion 

Bergstrom Museum School Construction Church Move- 
ment Niels Thomsen C. F. Hedges Our Shrinking Dollar 



“The past is not something that we have left behind 
us . . . it is something that moves along with us” 

(A. J. Toynbee, “A Study of History.” 
Oxford Press, 1934) 




The Neenah-Menasha area as seen from the air on a winter day. 



{Court se y of Soo Line) 



A HISTORY OF NKKNAH 



P A R T I 



THE CUNNINGHAM ERA IN PERSPECTIVE 

W e who have made Neenah our home during the first half 
of the twentieth century owe a lasting debt of gratitude 
to G. A. Cunningham, Editor of the one-time Neenah 
Qazette , for recording the salient facts of this settlement 
from its beginnings to the year 1878. Now we, a volunteer commit- 
tee, take a perspective look at the 80 years that have come and gone 
since Cunningham’s time. We, too, hope to hand on to a future gen- 
eration something of the chain of association that links their gen- 
eration and ours with those who have gone before. A writer in a recent 
issue of “Wisconsin Magazine of History” remarks, “History is a 
point of view, a perspective, and not a period of time.” “The main 
objective,” says this writer, “is not so much the tracing backward of 
historical streams to their remote sources, as the inducement of a 
vision of the current history flowing to us from the past.” Thus it 
shall be our hope, while recording facts and data, to detach ourselves 
from a bare recital of fact, and suggest the widening flow of life as it 
comes to us out of the past. As we address ourselves to this task, it 
seems advisable, perhaps inevitable, that we overlap Mr. Cunning- 




The “Grand Toggery” of Territorial Governor James Duane Doty in its original setting facing the mouth 
of the river. 



3 



4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



ham, whose hook covers, in a conversational fashion, the story of this 
area from its earliest days to 1878. 

For instance, many citizens of Neenah have asked why it is that 
Menasha celebrated its centennial in 1953 and Neenah must wait 
twenty years longer, till 1973, to celebrate hers. The answer is that 
Menasha’s centennial in 1953 dated from the incorporation of 
Menasha as a village in 1853, whereas Neenah awaits the recognition 
of her hundred years of a/jyhood in 1973. 

(Incidentally, the hope is expressed that when Neenah’s turn to cele- 
brate comes around, something more original than the growing of 
beards may be thought up.) 

The comparative dates of village and cityhood are: 

Menasha — incorporated as a village — July 5, 1853 
Menasha — incorporated as a city — March 5, 1874 
Neenah — incorporated as a village — March 28, 1856 
Neenah — incorporated as a city — March 13, 1873 

The village of Winnebago Rapids, which was the name given to 
Neenah in the early days, was established by the Circuit Court of Win- 
nebago County on April 10, 1850. Winnebago Rapids was absorbed by 
the village of Neenah when it incorporated on March 28, 1856. Officers 
and trustees elected at that time were: J. B. Hamilton, President; 
A. G. LaGrange, Clerk; J. R. Kimberly; Jeremiah Cummings; Ed 
Smith; D. R. Pangborn; H. G. Crane; and A. H. Kronkite (above data 
taken from Harney’s History of Winnebago bounty, chapter 52). 

To bring the full picture into view, let us roll the years back to the 
1 rea.y of the Cedars in 1836, wherein the Menominee tribe ceded to 
the Lnited States all lands lying within what is now Winnebago 
county, whereupon the government set aside as “Indian Lands’’ an 
area bounded on the north by the channel of the Fox River flowing 
t rough Neenah; on the east by Lake Winnebago, and on the south by 
the Fox River flowing through Oshkosh. 1 'he western limits appear to 
be somewhat nebulous, but it is assumed that the Wolf River formed 
the western boundary. The Menominees were settled on this tract. 

During the middle 1830’s, the Federal Government undertook a 
civilizing project in behalf of this tribe. A grist mill, a saw mill and 



T HE G U N N I N G H A M ERA 



5 




The Old Council Tree. This historic tree stood near the site of the two residences at the north end of North 
Park Avenue. It derived its namd from its use by Indian tribes for council purposes. When the channel 
was dredged in the late ’8os, the point was cut back and rounded off. It was at this time that the old tree 
disappeared. 



several log structures were built in what is now Neenah, and an effort 
was made through vocational teachers and other personnel to educate 
the Indians in the industrial and agricultural arts of the white man. 
The Indians would have none of it, and the experiment was discon- 
tinued. The two mills lay idle. The Indians continued to use the log 
houses, built for human habitation, to stable their animals. 

In 1843 Neenah’s pioneer, Harrison Reed, associated with the 
Milwaukee Sentinel , contracted to buy from the government “several 
hundred acres’’ in that part of the Indian lands known as “Winnebago 
Rapids,” when and if the area should be opened to public purchase. 
It is reported that this agreement to purchase covered 562 44/100 
acres. It included all of the waterfront south of the Neenah river 
channel, and practically the heart of present-day Neenah. To get 
some idea of how much 562 acres is, let us say that on it one could 




6 



A HISTORY OF NKENAH 



lay out four 1 8-hole golf courses and have 82 acres left over. Reed’s 
purchase price was $4,700, but he had no money. He was, however, 
able to secure bondsmen. One condition of his contract was that until 
and unless the tract was opened to public sale, he was forbidden to sell 
any of the property. 

It was expected that Reed would rehabilitate the two mill properties 
and other buildings that were falling into decay, but he had neither 
funds nor could he secure the labor for such a task. The Indians, as we 
have indicated, weren’t interested. 

He played a waiting game until ] 846, when the tract was put on the 
market. Then came his chance, provided he could find someone with 
funds who could and would come to his rescue. Through the good of- 
fices of a pioneer Congregational missionary, Reverend O. P. Clinton, 
and other friends and relatives in Milwaukee and Waukesha, such a 
savior was found in the person of Harvey Jones, a successful young 
businessman of Gloversville, New York. In return for money ($4,700) 
to pay the government, Reed offered Jones one-half of his land in 
“Winnebago Rapids.” The money was paid by Jones to Reed in July, 

1846, whereupon he (Reed) hurried to Washington, paying his bid 
price with interest and received his patents for the land. 

Jones visited his newly acquired holdings in late 1846 and early 

1847, moving to “Winnebago Rapids” in 1848, and died here in No- 
vember, 1849, at the age of 44. His death, in the light of retrospect, 
was most regrettable. Not only was he an able and far-sighted person, 
but misunderstandings and disagreements between Jones and Reed 
left their relationships in a legal tangle. 

Reed and the Jones’ estate owned the more desirable property, now 
the heart of Neenah, south of the river channel. Whereas settlers 
flowed in and took up land where they could get it, purchase of the 
choicer lands was retarded by inability to get clear title. Both Mr. 
Cunningham and Richard Harney, in his History of Winnebago 
(founty, indicate that the terms of the contract between these two 
men will probably never be known. It is known, however, that their 
real estate holdings were in undivided half interests. To make matters 
worse, Jones left no will, and the handling of his estate by its admin- 
istrators is referred to as a scandal. To quote Cunningham, “It is a 



THE CUNNINGHAM ERA 7 

dark page in the history of Neenah, for had the property here been 
spared the years (1850-1864) of needless litigation, during which no 
one could, with safety, purchase, there is no question but what the 
growth and wealth of Neenah would have been increased thousands of 
inhabitants and millions of dollars.” 

As to Menasha and Doty Island, these lands were outside the In- 
dian reservation, were surveyed in 1833, and opened to purchase in 
1835. Cunningham indicates that here, too, settlement was retarded 
by land speculators, Governor Doty being one of them, who bought 
and held for higher prices. 

Thus, between delays due to “Indian Lands,” legal tangles and land 
speculators, the Twin Cities got off to a late start, compared to Apple- 
ton and Oshkosh. 

Neenah Is Named 

In spite of his financial difficulties, Harrison Reed held to his faith 
in the future of the area, even securing for it a post office in 1844 and 
naming it “Neenah.” 

How the name “Neenah” came to be attached to the locality is at- 
tributed to Governor Doty, who, meeting with a band of Indians one 
day, asked, pointing to the river, “What is that?” The Indian an- 
swered, “Neenah,” being their word for water. Doty liked the word 
and applied it to the region. When land in Winnebago Rapids was 
opened for sale in 1846, settlers trickled in, purchasing land lying out- 
side the Reed-Jones tract. The name “Neenah” came into common 
use and became attached to the village and eventually to the city. 

George Jones, a grandson of Harvey Jones, lived his life on lands to 
the west of Neenah. During his active years he took part in church 
and other affairs of our city. He was one of the original leaders of the 
Boys’ Brigade. Latterly he lived alone with his dogs in a cabin near 
Pickett. He knew of the historical project of this committee, and on 
November 15, 1955, induced a neighbor to bring him to town for a 
visit with Mr. Shattuck. The purpose of his visit was to request that 
reference to his grandfather, Harvey Jones, on page 64 of Cunning- 
ham’s history, be corrected. The objectionable paragraph was as 
follows: 



8 



A HIS T O R Y OF NliKNA II 



“We have from the lips of a gentleman, now a resident of this state, who knew 
Jones and his family in New York, the following incident as illustrative of his trad- 
ing propensities while yet a boy. It was a habit of Jones’ father, who was owner of a 
New England Farm, to give each of his boys a piece of land which they cultivated 
for their own profit, putting in just such crops as they wished, and disposing of the 
same as best suited them. It is told of Harvey Jones, that no sooner would the other 
boys get their crops in than he would begin buying and trading with them, and as 
a rule, by harvest time he would own or control the product of each boys’ bit of 
land.” 

George’s father, Gilbert Jones, was one of the three sons of Harvey. 
George, in his visit of November 15, 1955, said that his father had 
branded Cunningham’s story as false. George Jones died shortly 
thereafter at the ripe age of 92. We hereby keep faith with him. 

How Dolv Island Qame To Tie ‘Divided Between the Twin pities 

Since entering upon this historical project the question has been 
asked, “How anti when was Doty Island divided — half to Menasha 
and half to Neenah?” 

The early histories of the region (Cunningham, Lawson and Har- 
ney) don’t spell it out. Rather, they seem to take it for granted. The 
historical background of the problem is as follows: 

The township of Neenah was defined and organized February 11, 

1 847, by an act of the territorial legislature. It comprised Township 20, 
ranges 16, 17 and the north half of Township 19, ranges 16 and 17. To 
put it in more understandable terms, the original township of Neenah 
embraced the present town of that name, plus the present towns of 
Menasha, Vinland and Clayton. 

In 1849 the towns of Vinland and Clayton were split off and given 
independent status, and in 1855 the present town of Menasha was 
taken from the original town of Neenah. The village of Menasha was 
constituted on July 5, 1853, while still within the township of Neenah. 

The above separations were guided by sectional lines. When it came 
to disposition of Doty Island, it was found that the island lay almost 
exactly between the north and south lines of sections 19, 20, 21, 22 and 
23 of town 20 north, range 17 east. If sectional lines had been followed, 
the island would have gone either to Menasha, with only a sliver on 
the south shore left for Neenah, or Neenah would have acquired the 



T HE C U N N I N G H A M E R A 



9 



main body of the island, with a thin strip on the northeast corner left 
for Menasha. Thus, it becomes easy to follow the thinking of citizens 
and legislators of that day. It is obvious that a half section line was 
projected from west to east across the island, with approximately half 
of the land area passing to each community. This was, of course, be- 
fore there was a Nicolet Boulevard. There was, however, a wagon road 
cut through the bush to connect with a bridge built by Neenah in 
1851 and with Menasha’s bridge from Tayco Street to the island, built 
in 1852. This wagon road later became Neenah’s North Commercial 
Street and Menasha’s Washington Street. 

At some later date this original east-west dividing line was moved 
100 feet south. This new line, which eventually became the center line 
of Nicolet Boulevard, extended from Lake Winnebago to the center of 
what was then Cedar Street (now North Commercial). From this 
point the dividing line jogged north 100 feet along the center of Wash- 
ington Street, thence west along the original half section line to Little 
Lake Butte des Morts. Thus, the present division of the island is not 
along a straight line from east to west between the two lakes, but 
rather a line with a 100 foot jog at the junction of Neenah’s North 
Commercial and Menasha’s Washington Streets. 

The Central Brass Company finds itself on this half sectional line, 
with a corner of their building in Neenah and the main body of their 
plant in Menasha. The dividing line comes in through an east window 
and out a south door! 

Significance of the Fox 'fiver 

The importance of the Fox River flowing out of Lake Winnebago 
and into Green Bay cannot be overestimated as one contemplates the 
life of that day. The waters of Green Bay are 163' below the level of 
our lake. To make the river navigable for cargo-carrying boats, locks 
were necessary. Later the Federal Government took over, but during 
the 1840’s, the matter of locks was up to private enterprise. The big 
question was, where should the first lock be located, on the Neenah 
channel or in the branch of the river flowing through Menasha? At a 
hearing in 1849, before a Federal Commission meeting in Oshkosh, 
Harvey Jones, speaking for the Neenah group, offered to build the lock 



io 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



without cost to the government. Curtis Reed, aided and abetted by 
James Duane Doty, ottered to build the lock in the Menasha channel 
and pay $5,000 for the privilege. The lock was, of course, built in 
Menasha on the site of a more adequate installation later constructed 
by the Federal Engineering Department. Jones and his associates, 
not to be denied, went ahead with their lock anyway, the use of which 
was short-lived. 

This incident, with its accompanying bitterness, started a train of 
unpleasantness, jealousies and tensions between the two communities 
that lasted into the early 1940’s, when the service clubs, a common 
Chamber of Commerce, one newspaper, joint Community Chest and 
the friendly gestures of successive high school generations closed the 
gap and brought about the cordial and cooperative spirit that now 
exists between the Twin Cities. 

When Kimberly-Clark, in 1940, built their new machine room at the 
west end of the Badger-Globe mill, they came upon the timbers of the 
disused lock begun by Harvey Jones and finished by his friends and 
the administrators of his estate. 



We insert at this point Howard B. Palmer’s sketch which adds color 
and valuable data to the story of our historic waterway: 

NAVIGATION AT NEENAH 

The settlement now known as Neenah-Menasha had its origin largely because of 
its strategic location for water transportation. The Indians settled in the area for 
that reason, and the white man followed for the same reason. Thus, water trans- 
portation has always played an important role in the community. Activities on the 
waterfront are today at proportions that probably outshine even those old “hey- 
days” when the great steamer “Leander-Choate” filled the locks with only inches 
to spare and loaded to capacity with excursion crowds on all three of its decks. 

As the Indians traveled and traded via canoe on the Fox River and Lake Winne- 
bago, so came the white man with his bateau and flat boat bent on pursuing trade 
and travel. As the population and trade increased, the need for simplification of 
navigation hardships grew. Thus, early in the 19th century, came the private enter- 
prise that dammed the river and built locks to remove the drudgery and time and 
cost of portaging around the many rapids. 

This privately owned “toll financed” project continued for a few years, until it 
was absorbed by the Territory of Wisconsin, who later disposed of the endeavor to 
another private company, in existence today, “The Green Bay-Mississippi Canal 



T II E CUNNINGHAM ERA 



I I 

Co.” This private concern expended “huge” sums of money for development of the 
navigation and power of the river and did a thriving business as an economic ven- 
ture. 

Then came the Civil War and, with it, need for federal control of waterways in the 
interests of the national welfare. So the navigation rights were sold to the federal 
government for some $10,000,000, with the power rights still held by the private 
company as it exists today. 

A reconstruction period followed, when locks, and dams, modern for the day, were 
constructed with federal funds, toll was removed and navigation on the Fox River, 
Wisconsin, became, tonnage-wise, second only in the United States in rivers of its 
class. The “Merrimac” in the east carried a few more tons annually. 

All this activity, and the removal of tolls, had a material effect on the use of the 
waterway as a means of pleasure. Motor launches and palatial yachts began to 
appear on Lake Winnebago and the Fox River. Yachting and boat clubs came into 
being. Two of those later merged into one, the Neenah-Nodaway Yacht Club, which 
today holds the distinction of being the second oldest in North America. 

To review the roster of inhabitants of Neenah in the i88o’s and 1 890^ is to read 
a directory of boating and yachting enthusiasts. The craft varied widely as to type; 
motor launches, steam yachts, sailing cargo vessels, side wheelers, stern wheelers, 
sailing yachts, canoes and row boats all mingled together to give the twin “port” 
of Neenah-Menasha a nautical atmosphere which is in strong evidence in this year 
of 1957. 

H. B. Palmer 




Four of the shallow draft paddle wheelers that plied these waters at the turn of the century carrying 
freight and passengers up and down the Wolf and the Fox rivers and the length and breadth of Lake 
Winnebago. During the summer months, these ships were in demand for excursions. Neenah’s Riverside 
Park was one of the popular ports of call. The old pavilion was placed at the north end of Riverside Park 
to accommodate the visitors coming by water. 






THE l 840 ’S TO 1860^8 INCLUSIVE 

H ighlighting of the era covered by Mr. Cunningham's his- 
tory may appear to some as a twice-told tale. On the other 
hand, a clean pick-up of the story at the year 1878 would 
leave much to be desired. Therefore, we record a rundown 
of a few “firsts" and other significant data, with the suggestion that all 
readers add to our efforts as their memories are jogged or as they come 
upon pertinent facts and interesting incidents in the course of their 
conversations and reading. 

The First Town Meeting 

'Hie first town meeting in the recently opened settlement of “Winne- 
bago Rapids" occurred in 1847, one year after the area was open to 
purchase. It preceded by 26 years Neenah’s incorporation as a city. 
Associated with these dates is the year 1 848, when the territory of Wis- 
consin became a state. 

Early Social Organizations 

As may be imagined, various forms of social and mutually helpful 
organizations sprang up in the pioneer settlement. The first of many 
such groupings seems to have been the Lodge of Odd Fellows, char- 
tered in 1849. This lodge continued for ten years, when it surrendered 
its charter. In February 1870 the charter was reinstated and the or- 
ganization thenceforth continued live and serves to this day. 

A lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was organized in Menasha, as 
Lodge 61, in early 1855. Menasha and Neenah men constituted its 
membership. Early meetings were held in Menasha, but since October 
of that year (1855) meetings have been held on the Neenah side of the 
line. The Masonic Temple at 241 East Wisconsin Avenue was dedi- 
cated in 1926. 



3 



A HISTORY OF NEENA 1 I 



H 

The “C/reen” 

Many early settlers had their roots in New England where the vil- 
lage “green” was and still is an institution. Therefore, one of the early 
acts of these settlers was the setting aside of our “Green,” now known 
as Columbian Park, in Neenah’s tenth ward. It is said on good author- 
ity that our “Green” antedates the dedication by New York City of its 
famous “Central Park.” 

First Religious Service and Early Qhurches 

Mr. Cunningham records the first Protestant Service in the Winne- 
bago Rapids tract in 1845, one year before the area was opened for 
sale. The meeting, conducted by an itinerant Methodist minister, was 
held in the residence of Harrison Reed and included all the white popu- 
lation then in the area, seven in all. 




The “old stone barn,” said to have been built by Harrison Reed in 1847, one year after his purchase of 
562 acres of land in “Winnebago Rapids.” This structure, now a residence, stands on the east side of 
South Park Avenue. This is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, landmark in Neenah. 




THE 1 8 4 O’S TO 1 8 60’S INCLUSIVE 



1 5 



The first duly constituted church came into being in April 1847, 
when twelve persons from the twin settlements presented letters from 
eastern Presbyterian and Congregational churches and formed a 
church loosely affiliated with the Congregational communion. They 
met in a log structure on East Doty Avenue. On December 15, 1848, 
this congregation voted to become the First Presbyterian Church of 
Winnebago Rapids. This early church, then, is the source from which 
sprang the present First Presbyterian Church of Neenah. 

Three years later, in 1851, the Menasha members withdrew and 
established the First Congregational Church of that city. 

In the year 1848 a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church, shep- 
herded by an itinerant pastor, was established. This little congregation 
worshipped in what was called the “Brick Church,” located on the 
corner of Division and Chestnut Streets. This brick structure is pres- 
ently owned by Henry Kemps and has been skillfully incorporated 
into a comfortable home with entrance at 600 Chestnut. The exterior 
has been stuccoed and painted an artistic green. This Welsh congrega- 
tion persisted until the turn of the century, when they disbanded and 
their membership united with other congregations. 

Another Welsh church, affiliated with the Congregational denom- 
ination, came into existence in 1861, with a meeting house called the 
“White Church” on East Columbian Avenue, near Pine Street. This 
congregation, like its predecessor, continued until the first decade of 
the 20th century, when its membership disbanded and joined other 
communions. Early Neenah owes much to its sturdy Welsh pioneers. 

Oak Hill £emetery 

It was in this early decade (1849) that Harvey Jones, who initiated 
several forward-looking plans for this locality during his brief life here, 
donated five acres for a cemetery. This was the core around which Oak 
Hill Cemetery developed. Little did he dream when he made this gift 
that his body would be among the first to be interred there. 

Menasha Wooden Ware Company 

The pioneer industry of the Twin Cities, and one that has come 
down from 1849 to the present, is the Menasha Wooden Ware Com- 
pany. At that time Menasha was on its way to becoming a settled com- 



i6 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A II 



munity. (Lands on the Neenah side, it will he remembered, were not 
released for purchase till 1846.) In 1849, three men, Messrs. Beckwith, 
Sanford and Billings started a small lumber mill on the site of the pres- 
ent Menasha Wooden Ware Company. Phis property was sold in 18^0 
to Keyes, Wolcott and Rice, who in turn sold to Elisha 1 ). Smith for 
$1,200 in 1852. Out of that modest beginning grew the far-flung 
Menasha Wooden Ware Company of 1957. For the fuller story, as re- 
lated by Donald C. Shepard, see Part II. 

The First School 

Like churches and cemeteries, an early concern of the pioneers was 
educational facilities for their children. In 1847, with the settlement 
less than a year old, a frame building, designed for a grocery store, one 
mile south of Neenah on the Ridge Road, was converted into a one- 
room schoolhouse. Carolyn Boynton was the teacher, and her student 
body of 12 became the beginning of Neenah’s public school system. 

Within a year thereafter the first schoolhouse within the settlement 
was constructed near the village “Green.” 

Early 'Blacksmith Shops 

Beginning business in 1866, Evan Johnson and Ole O. Myhre 
bought the property now owned by the Wieckert Lumber Company 
and continued the smithing business under their and Olaf Myhre’s 
ownership throughout the horse and buggy era. See Part IT for this 
story and a listing, compiled by Olaf A. Myhre, of the other black- 
smith shops that served their generation until the coming of the auto. 

The Telegraph Qomes to IHeenah 

1852 (nine years before the outbreak of the Civil War) is a signifi- 
cant year, in that telegraphic communication came to Neenah, and 
put our forebears in instant touch with the outer world. 

'facial Elements 

E^arly mingling of racial elements in the two communities of Me- 
nasha and Neenah is seen in the Germania Society of 1856 and the 



THE 18 40’S TO 1 8 (. 0’S INCLUSIVE 



1 



Menasha Turner Society in 1862. It was this latter society that in 
1862 built the still useful structure, known as Germania Hall. The two 
societies (Turner and Germania) merged in 1888 under the name 
“German Unterstutzungs Verein,” later changed to “Germania 
Benevolent Society.” 

J^audan Fields 

A second addition to Neenah’s eventual park system came in 1856, 
when the so-called Laudan Fields came into possession of the com- 
munity. The legal record of this gift is somewhat obscure. For years 
the property lay quite idle, but came to life as the city stretched south- 
ward following World War II. 

Yachting 

As the life of the settlement broadened, we note an early record of 
yacht racing on Lake Winnebago, with Governor Doty’s son partici- 
pating in this sport in 1859. Five years later, 1864, f l le Neenah Yacht 
Club was organized. From that day on yachting has passed through 
many vicissitudes, finally emerging into the full-blown and democratic 
sport now evidenced by a harbor so packed with sail and power craft 
that it is difficult to find dockage and anchorage for all who desire to 
enjoy the sport. 

More £hurches 

The first Episcopal service in the area was conducted in Menasha 
in 1857. St. Stephen’s parish was incorporated in 1859 and held their 
first service in a new church edifice on First Street, Menasha, in 1861. 
Trinity Episcopal was subsequently organized in Neenah through the 
missionary efforts of the Menasha congregation. The habitat of the 
Neenah congregation was a wooden structure built in 1869 at the 
corner of East Franklin and Walnut Streets. The two parishes even- 
tually combined to form the present St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 
located at the junction of Washington Street, Menasha, and North 
Commercial Street, Neenah. 

The middle ’60s saw an influx of substantial citizens from northern 
Europe, particularly from Germany, bringing with them their mother 



A 11 I S T OliY () 1-' N E E N A 11 



1 8 

tongue and their Lutheran background. Trinity Lutheran Church, one 
of Neenah’s progressive and most influential churches, was established 
on December 26, 1865. Their first place of meeting was on Walnut 
Street, between Olive Street and Washington Avenue. Needing more 
space, the present church was erected on the corner of Oak Street and 
Franklin Avenue in 1888. 

1861 — From this point, particularly as the legal tangle between the 
affairs of Harrison Reed and the Harvey Jones estate cleared up, the 
framework of the little town rapidly takes on form and substance. 
Events and advances fairly crowd each other into existence. The fore- 
runner of the First National Bank opened for business in 1 86 1 , oc- 
cupying the ground floor corner of the Pettibone Block (present site of 
the bank). 

Of equal significance was extension of the Chicago and North- 
western tracks from Fond du Lac, reaching Neenah during this 
epochal year. 

And, let us be reminded that the railroad facilitated the movement 
of troops from this area into the Union Armies during the early ’60s. 

A weekly newspaper, The Island Qity Times , was established by 
J. N. Stone in 1 863. 

Neenah' s First Hulk Tlant 

The first bulk plant in Neenah was the forerunner of the present 
Socony Mobil Oil Company, Inc. Way back in i860, it started as the 
Valvoline Oil Company, on High Street. When their High Street 
quarters were destroyed by fire in the early 1900’s, they moved to the 
present location at 167 North Lake Street. The Valvoline Oil Com- 
pany was purchased by the Socony- Vacuum Oil Company in Novem- 
ber 1941. The name was changed to Socony Mobil Oil Company on 
April 28, 1955. (The above information furnished by the local repre- 
sentative of Socony Mobil Oil Company.) 

Twin Qity Monument Works 

Although Charles J. Madson made the Twin City Monument 
Works what it is today, it had its beginning 59 years before Charley 
took over in 1924. On the site of Shattuck Park, in a small frame 



T H K 18 4 O’S T O 18 0 0’S INCLUSIV E 



19 



building close to the C&NW tracks, Bishop & DeLong started 
fashioning monuments in 1865. Then came a succession of ownership: 

Bishop & Rhodes 1872-1886 

Bishop & VanSlyke 1886-1893 

Louis Willis 1893-1914 

(who moved in 1905 to a lot adjoining the Bergstrom Paper 
Company office) 

John C. Zentner 1914-1924 

(who moved to the present location) 
and 

Charles J. Madson 1924 -1954 

(who built the present structure that houses shop, office and 
display room). 

Present officers are: 

John Stark, President 
Ellsworth Prahl, Treasurer 
Bernice Prahl, Vice President 
Verene Stark, Secretary 

Wm. Krueger Qo. 

Wm. Krueger Company was founded in 1866 by Win. Krueger, who 
came to Neenah from Germany in 1849. He settled originally on a 
farm in the Town of Clayton, and moved to Neenah to go into the 
hardware business seventeen years later. His two sons, Henry F. 
Krueger and M. W. Krueger, joined him in the 1890’s. Later, 
Wm. H. Krueger and Carl F. Krueger, sons of Henry F. Krueger, also 
entered the business. 

The original Wm. Krueger became inactive in 1 890, and the business 
was then operated by H. F. Krueger and M. W. Krueger until their 
deaths in 1933 and 1941, respectively. In 1906, Wm. Krueger Com- 
pany was incorporated, the officers being H. F. Krueger, President; 
M. W. Krueger, Vice President and Secretary; and W. H. Krueger, 
Treasurer. At this same time a furniture department was established, 
and this department finally occupied 103 and 107 West Wisconsin 



20 



A HISTORY OF NliENAII 



Avenue and 106 North Commercial Street. The furniture department 
was conducted by W. H. Krueger, and was discontinued upon his 
death in 1940. The business now includes hardware, industrial sup- 
plies, appliances, housewares, sporting goods, toys and gifts. James 
Webb is President and Treasurer; Laura Barnett Webb (grand- 
daughter of the founder) is Vice President; and James Barnett Webb 
(great-grandson of the founder) is Secretary. Present address is 107 
West Wisconsin Avenue. 

The Cooper Trade 

Mr. Cunningham refers on page 86 of his history to Brown’s Stave 
Works. This enterprise, started by Theodore Brown in i860, is shown 
on an artist’s perspective of Neenah in 1870. (See page 34.) It stood 
on the south side of the river just east of the present Oak Street bridge. 
Mrs. Dan Howman, a descendent of Theodore Brown, tells how her 
father, John Brown, and the late Henry Hoeper, learned the cooper 
trade back in the days when the manufacture of staves was one of 
Neenah’s up-and-coming industries. 

First Taper Mill 

In 1865 we come to a pivotal turn in the industrial life of the village. 
Dr. Nathaniel Robinson, grandfather of Mrs. T. D. Smith, with five 
associates, started Neenah’s first paper mill. Up to this point the 
power canal was lined with grist mills. From here in, flour milling 
gradually subsided, as papermaking took over. (This transformation 
is adequately covered by Cunningham.) 



“From the pieces of mosaic assembled by historians come 
the great murals which represent the progress of mankind .” 

— Herbert Hoover 



THE IMPACT OF SCIENCE 
AND INVENTION 

W e have referred to the simplicity of life and organization 
in Cunningham’s day in contrast to the complexity of 
social organization in the 1950’s. Neenah in the ’70s was 
quite sufficient unto itself. Today the life of the Twin 
Cities and its adjoining townships is melded. 

For instance, every working day about an equal number of people 
cross and recross Nicolet Boulevard going to and from their work. 
Therefore, typical Menasha industrial enterprises, employing sub- 
stantial numbers of Neenah citizens, find a logical place in this sketch. 

Not only that, we reach beyond to Appleton, the source of our elec- 
tric power. It was on the bank of the Fox River at Appleton that the 
first hydroelectric station in the world was instituted in 1882. 

Nor can we get into the detail of our undertaking without a bird’s 
eye glimpse of the wonderful changes that have come to pass during 
the 80 years since Mr. Cunningham laid down his pen. In his day the 
oil lamp, the dirt road, the horse and buggy, the cistern in the base- 
ment, the neighborhood well and the outside toilet characterized the 
life of the time. 

The shopping radius was pretty much limited by walking distances, 
except for the one day of the week when farmers drove to town with 
their produce and hitched their horses, while their wives shopped in 
the village stores. 

The steam engine was a commonplace in 1878, but electricity, with 
all the gadgets and services made possible by that newly-found power, 
came into being during the era now under observation. Conveniences 
such as electric refrigeration, that displaced natural ice, entered 
within the memory of many not-so-old residents. Air conditioning and 
electric washers for clothes and dishes were introduced subsequent to 
World War 1. 

The telephone: — who of us can visualize life without it, yet that in- 
valuable means of communication did not come into general use until 



21 






A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



the first decade of the century. In 1900 the local Kimberly-Clark office 
had a single wall phone with a crank to call “Central!” A private line 
provided contact with its mills at Appleton before the Wisconsin Tele- 
phone Company had strung its wires. 

Radio and television were as far from the mind of man in the ’80s 
as the modern guided missile was from soldiers of the Civil War. The 
shift to thermostatically controlled oil and gas heat, displacing the coal 
stove and the hand-fired furnace, is within the memory of citizens in 
their thirties. 

The Saturday night bath was a luxury until 1936. Rain water from 
the roof conducted to a cistern in the basement and pumped by hand 
into a tank in the attic was doled out sparingly to members of the 
household. During dry seasons Will Wing, Will Pearson, Herman Vogt 
and others did a thriving business of replenishing dry cisterns with 
raw river water. 

In 1893 our city fathers, pressured by a rising tide of desire for a 
city water system, dug an artesian well adjoining our lake shore and 
laid water mains throughout the principal streets of the city. The 
belief was deeply rooted that pure drinking water could be obtained 
only from an underground supply. This belief was probably justified, 
for water analysis and purification, as we now know it, had not been 
perfected. Joy and satisfaction over Neenah’s new water system was 
destined to be short-lived. Water from the deep well carried an ab- 
normally high content of mineral salts (60 grains or more per gallon); 
cooking utensils, even water glasses, were promptly coated with cal- 
cium and lime. Boiler tubes and water lines became clogged. Neither 
dishes nor clothes could be washed in it. It curdled the soap. Water 
softening devices for home use eventually helped some, but their use 
was limited. Almost everyone kept their basement cisterns. No one 
will ever know how many families seeking a new home decided to set- 
tle elsewhere because of Neenah’s impossible city water. Neenah 
voted overwhelmingly in April 1936 for a soft water system, using 
treated water from Take Winnebago. A year later pure soft water 
flowed into the city mains. That interesting story is told in Part II. 

Less dramatic but of equal interest is the story of the origin and de- 
velopment of Neenah’s sewer system. See Part II. 



T II E 



M P A C T O F SCIENCE AND IN V ENTION 




The *Auto 

In our overlook at the marvels of science that have enriched our 
lives since 1 878, we save for final mention the invention of the internal 
combustion engine and the pneumatic rubber tire resulting in the 
automobile. No other single invention has so transformed our way of 
life. We cannot be sure who owned the first automobile in Neenah. We 
can say, however, that Ferd Wilde, C. W. Howard, Mrs. C. H. Brown, 
Dr. E. J. Smith and Dr. T. D. Smith were among the first. The auto 
today is the key factor in the planning and replanning of cities and 
their surrounding areas. Referred to in its early days as the “horseless 
carriage,” it soon induced a popular demand for hard-surfaced roads, 
with the result that, within two generations, untold thousands of miles 
of concrete and black top highways span the nation. 

Another thing the auto did was to create a demand for reliable road 



Here, believe it or not, is Mayhew Mott in his air-cooled Knox. Mayhew drove this car to Mattoon 
and sold it to Dr. Riordan for $joo. Date April 7, 1908. L. to R. Roy Palmer, Mayhew, Dr. Riordan. 
Mayhew said it took him 24 hours to make that trip. 




2 4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



maps. To quote from a publication of our State Historical Society: 

Early motorists often had to resort to bicycle maps to guide them on their Sun- 
day excusions, for no official highway map existed. 

One such bicycle map, published in 1896 by the League of American W heelmen, 
utilizes a unique road marking system. Roads were labeled “good,” “medium” or 
“bad” and “level,” “hilly” or “very hilly.” The road between Milwaukee and Wau- 
watosa, for instance, was indicated as being level and medium; but that between 
Blue Mounds and Cross Plains as very hilly and medium. Steep grades were as 
hazardous to the motorist as they were strenuous to the Wheelman. 

Even as late as 1914 Wisconsin highway maps indicate the lack of an extensive 
road system. There was no main highway leading up the Door county peninsula — 
the road stopped at Sturgeon Bay. All over the early maps short black lines indicat- 
ing main routes rush off briefly toward a town, then stop short at the destination. 
There were no connecting junctions and picking up a route from one town to another 
often meant considerable back-tracking. 

Influenced by the auto, the radius of industrial employment wid- 
ened from the neighborhood to the adjoining cities and counties. 
Every working day sees a flow of people from Oshkosh to Kaukauna 
coming and going to their work and doing it with greater ease than 
our forebears negotiated a mile or two. With an automobile in the 
family, the housewife’s shopping area widened from two or three 
miles, to ten, thirty- — even 100 miles. One-room country schools com- 
bined into more efficient county units; the school bus, seen on all 
roads, brings increasing numbers of rural students to the city high 
school. 

As these lines are written, we are witnessing a phenomenon that 
some have called “our exploding cities.” Following W orld War I there 
began a trickle of city folk into the adjacent rural areas, lured by a 
desire for more elbow room, country living and lower taxes. As auto 
ownership became general during the ’30s, and following the second 
World War, the trickle became a flood. Suburbs are currently growing 
faster than the parent city. 

Such population movement always brings in its wake a package of 
interrelated problems between the parent city and its urban-rural 
neighbors. Locally, it presented a Pandora’s box of tensions and misun- 
derstandings over taxes, school situations, annexations and municipal 
services and privileges which the former city dweller was accustomed 
to enjoy and which he is reluctant to abandon. 

Not the least of the problem of our civilization on wheels is the park- 



THE IMPACT OF SCIENCE AND INVENTION 



-5 



ing question. Shopping centers on the city’s rim, with plentiful land 
for the parking of cars, attract not only the rural shopper, but many 
residents of the inner city. 

That Neenah has felt the impact of this outward movement, wit- 
ness the increase in chain food stores and residential and industrial 
building to the south and west of the city. 

Jt will be an interesting backward look in the year 2000 to view the 
measures our city and its mercantile leaders shall have taken, or have 
failed to take, to preserve real estate values and business investments 
at the city’s heart. 

Many readers of these words will be able, with a bit of imagination, 
to add to the illustrations here noted. Possibly the epochal flight of 
Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927 fittingly dramatizes the onrush of these 
many products of research and engineering skill that have crowded in 
upon our generation. It was on May 20 of that year that he took off 
alone for Paris, landing in the evening of May 21, after a non-stop 
flight of 3,610 miles in about 33^ hours. For this achievement Lind- 
bergh was feted in France, Belgium and F.ngland — and on his return 
to this country, he was lionized in New York and Washington. To us, 
as we look back across the intervening thirty years, the significant 
fact is that this trans-Atlantic flight of the “Spirit of St. Louis” opened 
the door to world air travel, which, in 1958, is accepted in the same 
matter-of-fact fashion as boarding a bus or a railroad train. 

iA Story by ‘ Decades 

What follows is a sketch, by decades. 

Our effort is to be considered a framework to which many readers 
will be able to add items of human interest and factual value. To pro- 
mote this idea of a cooperative and continuing history, the reader will 
find blank pages at the end of each chapter. Use these pages to note 
your suggestions. Spotting of any factual errors will be particularly 
appreciated. 

When Neenah nears her centennial in 1973, this home-made effort 
should be revised in the light of the added material that you can assist 
in providing. 

It is suggested that all additions and corrections be lodged with offi- 
cers of the local Historical Society. 



J\(otes 



^A^ofes 



THE l 87 O’S 



C ontinuing our bird’s eye view of history flowing to us from 
the past, we come to the last decade of the Cunningham era. 

Slivers, Kjmball & Kellett 

The forerunner of the present Elwers Drug Store was established 
in the Pettibone Block under the name of Kimberly and Henry Drug 
House. ’Phis was in 1870. 

This store has always been in this location, except during the re- 
building after the great tire of January, 1883. Fred Elwers, George’s 
father, attained a national record by working in and supervising this 
one store from age 22 to age 92. 

On the north side of Wisconsin Avenue, in the space now occupied 
by Harmon McCarthy, the Kimball Jewelry Store opened for business. 
William O. Nelson clerked for Kimball, and eventually bought him 
out. Mr. Nelson was succeeded by Mr. McCarthy. 

On the northeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue and North Commer- 
cial Street, William Kellett operated a general store in 1866. It was 
here that E. E. Jandrey got his start, selling his services for $75 per 
year and board. Eventually Mr. Jandrey purchased the business from 
the Kellett estate, it having been moved to its present location prior 
to Mr. Kellett’s passing. 

Jieenah (gazette and C/. zA. Cunningham 

1871 saw the Ufeenah (gazette founded by Charles Boynton, who 
found space in the second floor of the Pettibone Block, which burned 
in 1883. It was at the midpoint of this decade that Mr. Cunningham 
comes into view. In 1875 he was hired by Boynton. Three years later 
we find him editing the paper and author of the History of Jfeenah, 
printed at the “Gazette Printing Establishment.” Subsequently the 



29 



30 



A HISTORY OF NliENAH 




RAILROAD 

was formally organized 
in the National Hotel 
on this site by Judge 
George Reed and his 
associates, Feb. 4 , 1871. 
Here the contracts were 
let for its construction 
and the first general 
office was located. The 
road secured a land 
grant to build a line 
from "Dotys Island to 
Lake Superior." The first 
train ran from Menasha 



to Waupaca, Oct. 2, 1871. 




(gazette persisted under H. L. Webster 
and L. F. Cole, until J. N. Stone and 
his :\ee>iah 'Daily Times absorbed the 
(jazette in 1898. 

The year 1870 stands out in that 
the general headquarters of the Wis- 
consin Central Railroad was estab- 
lished in the National Hotel, on the 
site of the present Menasha Hotel. 
A metal plaque on the north face of 
the hotel tells that story. (See Part 
II.) This road opened a freight and 
passenger service westward to Wau- 
paca and northwestward to Take 
Superior. 

Coming into the year 1871, rail- 
road service to the east and south 
opens through extension of a branch 
of the Milwaukee & Northern Rail- 



road from Hilbert to Menasha, with 
a sub-station on the Neenah side of the Island. 



And, while we are on the subject of railroads, the spur tracks along 
the power canal serving the industries that were, and were to be, came 
into being in 1875. 



Church jQife 

1870 was a year punctuated by forward-looking activity on the part 
of several religious bodies. Trinity Lutheran School was organized, 
first located in a structure on Walnut Street, between Olive Street 
and Washington Avenue. From there the school was moved in 1893 
to a building adjoining the church on Oak Street. Again, in 1951, the 
structure built in 1893 was razed and a modern school building was 
erected on the site. 

In 1870 the Baptist Church, later known as the Whiting Memorial, 
was instituted. 



THE 18 7 O’S 



31 




Two years later (1872) appeared Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. 

Originally all of the churches composed of families from Central 
and Northern Europe, such as German, Danish and Norwegian Lu- 
theran, conducted services in their mother tongues. Later, as the 
second generations came up in American schools, there was usually 
one service in the foreign tongue and a second service in English. 



The four founders of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. 

Standing — left to right: C. B. Clark, F. C. Shattuck. Sitting — J. A. Kimberly, Havilah Babcock 

Kjmberly , £lark & Qo. 

The year 1872 comes in with hags hying. One year before the Vil- 
lage of Neenah became an incorporated city, four young men — three 
from New York State and one from Massachusetts — pooled their 
savings and formed a partnership known as Kimberly, Clark & Com- 
pany. From this modest beginning has grown an organization that has 
carried Neenah’s name to the ends of the earth. (See Part II.) 



32 A HISTORY OF NEENAH 

zAylward ‘Plow Works 

Also, the Aylward Plow Works began operation in 1872, in a plant 
located on North Lake Street, continuing until 1918 under this title. 
In 1918 the name was broadened to Neenah Foundry Company. Lat- 
terly, under the aggressive leadership of E. J. Aylward, this firm 
moved, in 1918, to its present site on Winneconne Avenue, has not 
only become a substantial employer, but is one of the foremost pro- 
ducers of gray iron, semi-steel alloy castings, heat resisting irons, etc. 

‘Riverside Park 

In this same year the Village Council, amid considerable discord and 
charges of extravagance, purchased the 19% acres now known as 
Riverside Park. To Mr. John Proctor, who braved the criticism of 
many of his contemporaries, goes the credit for saving for all time this 
choice piece of property for the benefit and enjoyment of untold gen- 
erations. 

Prior to 1876 a foundry on West Main Street was operated by 
Smith, Van Qstrand and Leavens. In 1876 the Bergstrom Brothers 
(George O. armlTW.) and Havilah Babcock, purchased the prop- 
erty, specializing in stoves, furnaces and plows. As we moved into the 




Neenah Stove Works — George O. and Diedrich W. Bergstrom. The i88o’s. Note the dirt wagon road. 



THE 18 7 O’S 



33 



twentieth century, stoves went out of fashion, and mass production 
of furnaces and plows by larger producers forced the use of the local 
buildings for other purposes. (See Part II.) 

Neenah <t Achieves Qityhood 

And that brings us to that red letter year, 1873, when Neenah in- 
corporated as a city. 

Edward Smith was its first Mayor, C. J. Kraby its City Clerk, and 
George Danielson its Treasurer. Three wards, the first and second on 
the south side of the river, and the third ward on the island, were 
named in the incorporation. See Part II for lists of officials down 
through the ensuing years. 

1873 is also known for the organization of the E. F. Wieckert Lum- 
ber Company, which has continued to this day in service to its neigh- 
bors . 

18/4. A newly-organized Methodist Congregation purchased a 
church property in the 300 block, south side of East Wisconsin Ave- 
nue. This white wooden structure stood where Mrs. James Fritzen and 
M rs. G. H. Williamson now reside. It had been built and occupied by 
one faction of the Presbyterian Church, following a split in i860 over 
doctrinal matters. These differences having now been reconciled, the 
two factions united in a new church structure on Church Street on the 
site of the present parking lot. Subsequently, as the Methodist con- 
gregation grew and prospered, they moved to a new home on the cor- 
ner of South Commercial Street and Doty Avenue. 

A further indication of growth is seen in the purchase by the city of 
Neenah of eight acres in the Neenah township, adjoining the five acres, 
gift of Harvey Jones, which combined to form the nucleus of Oak Hill 
Cemetery. 

The "First” Telephone Exchange 

The ’70s boast another “first,” — this time in the field of communi- 
cations. It was in 1877 that Sam Henry, of the drug firm of Kimberly 
& Henry, installed in their store an invention known as a telephone. 
Sam extended a wire to the homes of two doctors, — J. R. Barnett, on 
Church Street at Doty Avenue, and Dr. N. S. Robinson, who built the 




That there were artists with imagination in the little city 87 years ago is demonstrated by H. H. Bailey’s perspective drawing of Neenah in 1870. 
Note the wing dam and the power canal lined with flour and grist mills. Also note the lock begun by Harvey Jones in 1849 and finished by the 
administrators of his estate. 



HISTORY OF NEENAH 




From approximately the same angle chosen by Mr. Bailey is an air view of Neenah’s present industrial district. In it are the plants of Bergstrom 
Paper Company, Kimberly-Clark mills and former main office, Hewitt Machine Company, Neenah Paper Company and E. F. Wieckert Lumber 
Company. 



THE 1 8 70’S 




A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



36 

home later owned by Hon. S. A. Cook, and now by the Y.W.C.A. This 
party line, as we would now call it, soon became so overloaded, that an 
honest-to-goodness exchange was set up, with Sam Henry as Manager 
and twenty “charter members” as clients. The 75th anniversary book- 
let of the Wisconsin Telephone Company affirms that this was the 
first telephone exchange in Wisconsin. Noting Appleton’s claim of the 
first phone, we leave them to argue it out with the Wisconsin Tele- 
phone Company. 

During the late years of this decade, John Roberts purchased the 
original Doty Cabin, which stood on the property now owned by the 
Strange family. In 1877 h e built the Roberts Resort, now the residence 
of Paul Strange, and used the Doty Cabin as an amusement center for 
his guests. For many years the Roberts Resort enjoyed a booming 
patronage during the fishing and boating season. 

School Qrowth 

As the city continued to grow, so did its school population. In 1875 




Tne above is an artist’s sketch of the “Pettibone Block,” which was destroyed by fire in 1883. The sketch 
w is photographed by Robert Larson from a wall map of Winnebago County dated 1870, belonging to 
E. J. Aylward. 



T H E 18 7 (VS 



37 



T. 'I'. Moulton came as Superintendent of Schools. Under his super- 
vision were 660 pupils and six school buildings: the “Brown” school, 
the “Island” school, the fourth ward school, and a three-unit building, 
on the site of the present Washington School, housing grades and a 
three-year high school. 1877 saw the first high school graduation, with 
a class of nine, completing an eleven year curriculum. The next school 
year, 1877-78, the high school curriculum was stretched to four years. 
The story goes that Anna Proctor, who had been a member of the 
class of 1877, reentered in the fall of that year and was the sole gradu- 
ate in June of 1878. 

In 1879 the original structures on the Walnut Street site were re- 
moved and the present Washington school was erected. Until the 
Kimberly High School was built, the Washington school housed 
grades 1 through 8, as well as three rooms (a study hall and two 
recitation rooms) on the second floor provided space for the high 
school. (See Part II.) 

Sarly Ice Houses 

Responding to the public demand for food preservation, William 
Arnemann built a roomy ice house on land now occupied by the swim- 
ming pool and “Rec” building. The annual ice harvest, with Christ- 
mas trees marking the openings in the ice, was always interesting to 
skaters. Mr. Arnemann’s daily delivery of ice, smothered in sawdust, 
was an important feature of life in the ’70s. 

Soon after Mr. Arnemann’s entrance into the ice business, a rival 
appeared in the person of Thomas Jones, who built a less pretentious 
ice house at the east end of East Wisconsin Avenue on property pres- 
ently owned by Richard H. Brady. One hot summer day the Jones’ 
ice house went up in a burst of flame and smoke. It was said the cause 
was spontaneous combustion. 

Quoted from the ^Appleton Tost (‘rescent for the week of October 5, 
1878: “Neenah is to have gas on the first of November, if everything 
goes off all right. This will be a decided improvement over the dis- 
reputable oil lamps which now vainly seek to illuminate the streets.” 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



38 

And now, to end our perspective look at the ’70s in a lighter vein, 
there was a round-the-lake cruise in 1879, ending with a Grand Re- 
gatta at Oshkosh on July 4. 



“People often wonder why historians go to so much 
trouble to preserve millions of books , documents and records 
of the past. Why do we have libraries? What good are these 
documents and the history books? Why do we record and save 
the actions of men , the negotiations of statesmen and the 
campaigns of armies? 

Because, sometimes , the voice of experience can cause us 
to stop , look and listen. ?And because , sometimes , past 
records , correctly interpreted , can give us warning of what to 
do and what not to do.” 

— Herbert Hoover 



JA(7v t e s 



JA (j)tes 



THE i88o’s 



C oming into the first full decade of the post-Cunningham era, 
we sense the throb of a cultural upsurge. 

library Association 

1882 saw the organization of the Neenah Library Association. 
This organization raised funds for the establishment of a public 
library. The money so raised was turned over to the city, and the 
library was housed in the City Hall, as of 1883, where it remained un- 
til the present library building was constructed in 1904. Louise Lach- 
mann was the first librarian. 

A predecessor, and less pretentious library, according to Mayhew 
Mott, was opened two years earlier on the second floor of the Sherry 
Building, corner of West Wisconsin Avenue and Church Street. 
Damie Wheeler was the librarian. 



Four Qultural Organizations 

Then followed three women’s cultural organizations, all of which 
have persisted to this day. 

The Eclectic Reading Circle held its first meeting in January 1882 
with 42 charter members, Miss Anna Proctor being one of the chief 
organizers. 

In 1886 the Women’s Tuesday Club was organized under the leader- 
ship of Mrs. George Harlow, Mrs. John Proctor and Miss Jennie Cook. 
A Chautauqua study course was followed originally, and early meetings 
were held in members’ homes. This club has maintained an unbroken 
series of annual programs across the 71 years, finally finding a satisfac- 
tory habitat in the new Beys’ Brigade building on Columbian Avenue. 

The third cultural organization born during the ’80s was the Y.T. & 
F. Club, originally organized as the Chautauqua Ladies Study Circle, 



41 



42 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



which name was dropped in 1894 when the Chautauqua program was 
discontinued. 

Organized in 1885 and still active today is the Neenah Chapter of 
the Women’s Christian Union, auxiliary of the state W.C.T.U. 

School expansion 

In the spring of 1882 the first high school graduates from the new 
Washington School received their diplomas. Four young women, 
Grace Wright, Lutie Olmsted, Helen Wheeler and Ida K. Barnett con- 
stituted this graduating class. Contrasting this class with the Neenah 
High School class of 192 graduated in 1957, the scale tips heavily in 
favor of the present if we consider quantity only, but for quality, the 
class of 1882 gives no odds, as evidenced by Mrs. Barnett’s mental and 
spiritual vigor at age 94. 

Graduating classes from Neenah High were small during the ’80s. 
What they lacked in numbers, was made up in loyalty to each other 
and in love for their school. This common loyalty prompted formation 
of the Neenah High School Alumni Association in 1888. Annual ban- 
quets, including each year’s graduating class, were held until 1934, 
when the Association was disbanded. Weight of numbers and mount- 
ing cost of the annual dinner prompted the discontinuance. 

In 1888 a growing Third Ward demanded better school facilities. 
In response to this pressure, a new school was built facing East Forest 
Avenue between First and Second Streets. Again, in 1923, increased 
school population called for expansion. A rebuilding operation gave 
us the present Roosevelt School. 

Finally, the late ’80s and early ’90s saw the last of the Point School, 
located on the west side of Short Street (now Linden Court) in the 
First Ward. This was the only one-room country school within the 
city limits. At one time it housed the first three grades — latterly, only 
grades one and two. In the early days it served the sparsely populated 
First Ward east of the tracks and was retained until the present Wash- 
ington School was prepared to take over. Nellie Mitchell was the 
teacher in the early ’80s. She rode to school on a pony from the 
Mitchell Farm south of Cecil Street and fronting on extension of 
South Park Avenue. Aggie Hayward was next in succession, followed 



THE 188 O’S 



43 




The “Point” School in 1885 — last of the one-room country schools within the city limits. Nellie Mitchell 
was the teacher. She lived on a farm south of Neenah near where Dora Hansen now resides. She came to 
school on pony-back. The “Point” School stood on the west side of what is now Linden Court, then known 
as Short Street. The old brick building was eventually moved to 505 East Columbian Avenue, and con- 
verted into a home. At this writing, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Frakes reside there. 



by Ora Jaeck and Florence Enos. If payrolls of these years could be 
produced, we would probably find that the salaries of these young 
women were not over $30 per month. 

Commercial and Industrial 

Stevens roller crushing process. John Stevens, who built a sub- 
stantial home in the 500 block of East Wisconsin Avenue, facing the 
river, with bowling alleys in the basement, a stable of riding horses at 
the rear, and a ioo' steam yacht moored in the bend of the river par- 
alleling East Wisconsin Avenue, was a flour miller. We digress at this 
point to record his invention which revolutionized the flour milling 
industry and brought wealth to its inventor. Beginning his experi- 
ments in 1870, John Stevens perfected a roller crushing process and 
succeeded in obtaining a patent No. 225770, dated March 23, 1880. 
This was said to be “an absolutely new discovery in milling practice, 



44 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



the most profound in its results of any device ever invented in the 
mechanics of flour milling.” 

Between 1880 and 1884 there followed five other patents covering 
all phases of the process. 

Prior to obtaining his patents, he installed his new device in his 
Falcon mill at Neenah. As news of its success leaked out, ‘‘Very soon 
all the local machine shops were engaged nights and Sundays in 
secretly trying to form roller sets. Other machine shops did find out 




East Wisconsin Acenue during the middle '80s. In the foreground, the residence of John Stevens, inventor 
of the roller flour mill. This residence built from proceeds of his patented roller process. 



the system; and mill-furnishing concerns vied with each other in 
devising roller mills. The issue of his patents hung so long in the 
patent office, that by 1880, when it was finally issued, the system had 
been mentioned in the press and talked of for six years. ”* 

“In 1878 occurred the great flour mill fire in Minneapolis that was attended by a 
disastrous explosion of flour mill dust and considerable loss of life. Governor Wash- 
burn and others rebuilt at once and introduced largely the new devices and gradual 
reduction rolls. Two years later, soon after obtaining his two basic patents, Stevens 
visited the mills at Minneapolis, where twenty-two mill firms settled with him and 
took shop rights. Most other mills that had introduced his system settled at once and 
took shop rights.*” 

* Quoted from Wisconsin Historical Society — Proceedings 1907 — 55th annual meeting. 



THE 1 8 8 O'S 45 

Stevens also took out patents in Canada, England, Germany, 
France and Austria. 

In 1893 he sold to John T. Noye & Sons Company, of Buffalo, his 
entire rights in all his roller mill patents, including his automatic 
dumping and self-registering scale for handling grain. 

As the 19th century drew to its close, competition from larger and 
more efficient flour mills in the St. Paul-Minneapolis district and the 
upswing of the paper industry along our limited power canal spelled 
the end of local flour milling. 

Kellett- Jandrey. William Kellett moved his store from the corner 
of East Wisconsin Avenue and Commercial Street to the east half of 
the present Jandrey location in 1888. Mr. Jandrey, Sr., had already 
purchased a ] interest in the business. Following the passing of Mr. 
and Mrs. Kellett, he bought the former Kellett interest. 

Whiting Mill. In 1882 the Whiting Mill was built on the site of an 
old dry dock at the west end of the navigable waterway in Menasha. 
George A. Whiting, William and Theodore Gilbert were the original 
owners. In 1886 the Gilbert brothers sold their interests to Mr. 
Whiting. The original 76" paper machine, with subsequent rebuilds, 
is still in operation. Mr. George A. Whiting’s son, Frank, succeeded to 
the presidency upon his death in 1930, and, in turn, George A. Whiting 
II assumed the office of President upon his father’s death in 1952. 

Neenah Paper Company. It was in the spring of 1885 that a newly- 
formed corporation, known as Neenah Paper Company, took over a 
small mill on the Fox River at Neenah, which had been known as the 
Neenah Mill of the Patten Paper Company, of Appleton. A succession 
of ownership took place over the next eight years, until, in 1893, J. A. 
Kimberly, Sr., and his son, J. A. Kimberly, Jr., obtained control and 
assumed the management. From then on the story of Neenah Paper 
Company is one of substantial and well-earned success, culminating 
in merger with Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 1956. 

Gilbert Paper. Gilbert Paper Company was established in April 
1887 by five members of the Gilbert family: William, William M., 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



46 

Albert M., Theodore M. and George. Starting with a one-machine 
mill, as the business prospered, two more machines were added, in- 
cluding rebuilding and enlarging #3 machine in 1954. As of 1957 ap- 
proximately 400 people, many of them Neenahites, are on the pay 
roll. Annual production is 14,000 tons of high grade papers. 

Neenah’s Second Bank. In 1881 the Manufacturers’ National Bank 
was incorporated with capital stock of $65,000. The former photo- 
graphic studio of C. B. Manville, who later became President of Johns- 
Manville Company, became the quarters of the newly-formed bank. 
In 1901, upon renewal of their charter, the name was altered to read 
National Manufacturers’ Bank. 

John Strange Paper Co. The forerunner of the John Strange Paper 
Company was a pail and tub factory founded by John Strange, Sr., 
in 1881. Seven years later the transition from pails and tubs to the 
manufacture of heavy wrapping and print paper was made. Through 
the years the business of the company has expanded and prospered. 
In this year (1957), under the active leadership of J. H. Levandoski, 
J. M. Levin, Elmer Deprez and L. A. Blume, the company makes a 
solid contribution to stability of the Twin Cities. 

Kimberly-Clark incorporates. Onrush of the paper industry was 
punctuated in 1880 by incorporation under Wisconsin laws of Kim- 
berly-Clark & Company, which up to that time had been a four-man 
partnership. By 1889 Kimberly-Clark & Company was on its way to 
national recognition. In that year they bought the land which is now 
the village of Kimberly and built the Kimberly mill. 

Another “first” occurred in 1882 when fifteen iron workers at the 
Bergstrom Foundry banded themselves into the first labor union of 
the Twin Cities. 

The broadening life of the times was further indicated by incor- 
poration of the Wisconsin Telephone Company, which, in 1881, took 
over the local exchange then housed in the Barnett Drug Store. 

Electric power and interurban transportation. Electric power, 
without which our modern ways of living would come to a halt, had 



THE 188 O’S 



47 



its birth in this area on the banks of the Fox River six miles to the 
north of Neenah. In 1882 there was built in Appleton the world’s 
first hydro-electric central station. H. J. Rogers was the technician 
and an Appleton banker, A. L. Smith, was the financier. This story 
will be found in Part II. 

With this crude beginning there ensued forty years of growing pains 
for the infant electric industry of this area. Its path was strewn with 
financial difficulties, bankruptcies and reorganizations. Finally, as 
we moved into the early decades of this century, with the help of 
skilled engineering talent and able management, the industry took its 
place among the substantial forces in our society. 

Rails for an interurban transportation system were laid between 
Menasha and Appleton during the early years of this decade. This 
venture was destined to die on the vine, but who in the ’80s could 
foresee the coming of the auto? The old rights of way of the “inter- 
urban” that reached to Oshkosh on the south and to Appleton on the 
north, are still discernible in some rural areas of our valley, but the 
noise of the bumpy old trolley cars is stilled forever. Could there be 
a more dramatic illustration of the wilting and disappearance of one 
product of science and industry, when something new and better 
catches the imagination of the American public? 

Menasha and Neenah railway company. Let us not pass the inter- 
urban period, when cars were driven by electric power, without 
bringing into view the old Menasha and Neenah Railway Company. 

On December 23, 1885, Mayor George Whiting signed an ordinance 
authorizing the Menasha and Neenah Railway Company to operate 
from Nicolet Boulevard to Wisconsin Avenue, and to Lake Butte des 
Morts — to be “operated by any animal power or any other power 
excepting steam.” 

Unlike buggies, the street car carried its passengers with a minimum 
of bumps and jolts. Seven miles per hour was set as a maximum speed, 
with four miles around curves! 

Ernest Rhoades relates that in the middle ’90s he used to ride to 
Menasha, with his mother, in this car. Returning from Menasha the 
driver halted the car, unhooked the heavy whippletree, and drove the 



48 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A II 




North Commercial Street — Middle 8o's. Note horsedrawn street-car, wooden sidewalks, windmill and 
store fronts of two of Neenah’s pioneer merchants, with Krueger & Lachmann Milling Co. in distance 
(right). 

horses into a big stable back of St. Patrick’s present school grounds. 
Another team was brought out and attached to the car for the journey 
to Neenah. Ernest explains that this change of motive power was 
necessary because the time schedule required the horses to trot most 
of the way. 

In 1895, the route, now electrified, was extended westward to the 
city limits. 

In 1899 the Menasha and Neenah Railway Company sold its fran- 
chise to the Eastern Wisconsin Railway Company. 

Eisenach brick yard. It was during this second decade of our study 
that Albert Eisenach took up property on the west side of Little 
Lake Butte des Morts, about where the Kimberly-Clark cafeteria now 





THE 1880’S 



49 



stands, and established a brick yard. The Badger-Globe Mill of 
Kimberly-Clark Corporation and many stores along Wisconsin 
Avenue were built of Eisenach brick. Charles Eisenach, son of Albert, 
carried on the business following his father’s passing. Five men were 
employed. During the mid-i 900’s the business came to an end and the 
place thereof knew it no more. 

Neenah boot & shoe manufacturing companv. The first con- 
certed attempt to broaden Neenah’s industrial base occurred in 1886, 
when practically the entire leadership of the community participated 
in organizing the Neenah Boot & Shoe Manufacturing Company. 






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The Neenah Boot & Shot* Manufacturing Company was incorporated August 20, 1886. Subsequently 
the following ten stockholders were added to the above list: J. A. Kimberly, Henry Sherry, I. W. Hunt, 
W. I.. Davis, D. K. Davis, E. F. Wieckert, John Proctor, Batchelder& Fisher, Johnson & Myhre, Wilfred 
Breed. This list is significant in that it comprised practically the entire leadership of the little city of that 
day. This venture, though ill-starred, was a community movement to broaden Neenah’s industrial base. 



50 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Forty-nine men, whose signatures are seen on the foregoing page, 
subscribed for stock in the company, which was incorporated 
August 25, 1886. Other stockholders, notably W. L. Davis, E. E. 
Jandrey, 1 . W. Hunt, Henry Sherry and J. A. Kimberly, came in soon 
after. A three-story brick factory was built on the power canal, where 
the three-wing addition to the original Kimberly-Clark office now 
stands. L. C. Oborn was the moving spirit. In April, 1904, A. F. S. 
Lyons joined the company as Vice President and Manager. 

As one takes a perspective look at this company, it would appear 
that the operating base and working capital were too cramped, and 
whereas the list of stockholders included the ablest businessmen of 
the city, they knew little about the making and marketing of boots 
and shoes, and they didn’t have enough at stake to induce in them 
more than a nominal interest in the enterprise. 

In 1923, through the initiative of H. K. Babcock, one of the younger 
generation who had been serving as President, Harrison A. Smith, was 
brought into the picture. Harrison purchased a controlling interest, 
injected new blood into the effort, and entered upon a salvaging 
operation. By 1929, it having become obvious that the company had 
no future, the business was liquidated. All creditors were paid off and 
the property was sold by Mr. Smith to Kimberly-Clark Corporation. 
The only one to sustain a personal loss in the venture was the man 
who undertook to save it. For photo of Neenah Boot and Shoe Com- 
pany’s building, see page 63. 

The Fire of / 88 j 

In 1883 occurred a spectacular event that challenged the capacity 
of the people to meet an emergency. The “Pettibone Block,” on the 
corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Cedar Street (now Commercial) 
burned to the ground, taking with it the Elwers Drug Store and quar- 
ters of the National Bank of Neenah, forerunner of the First National 
Bank of today. Jumping the street, the flames consumed most of the 
original Russell House. The city at that time had no municipal water 
system, and no professional fire department; therefore, was ill pre- 
pared to cope with such a catastrophe. The bank, however, opened 
for business as usual the next morning in space made available to it 
in Kimberly-Clark’s new office building. 



THE 18 8 O’S 




BIG BLAZE 

Peltibonc Hall ami Russell House in Ashes 
Loss $100,000 

“At 4 o’clock yesterday (Sunday) morning a fire broke out in the rear of Pettibone 
Block, and by 7 a.m. that whole block and also the fine Russell House were a mass 
of smouldering ruins. The Steamer was delayed by the extreme cold or something 
else. Mercury stood at 15 below. The heat from Pettibone Block was intense, the 
building being a large three story one, veneered with brick, and the whole inside 
being like a tinder box. The heat soon set fire to the mansard roof of the Russell 
House, and that too went to ruins, but burned very slowly. The opinion prevails 
that the present fire was incendiary. It is fortunate that no lives were lost. Specula- 
tion is already rife as to the future. A fine Bank Building is talked of for the Petti- 
bone site and another big hotel on the hotel corner. Certain it is, that the spring 
will see two large brick blocks on those, the two best business corners in Neenah.” 
Quoted from “Daily Times,” Jan. 15, 1883. 




A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



5 2 




Fire Department About 1889. First Row — Louis Bergstrom, Fred Easton, Oscar Smith, Ingoff Johnson, 

Axel Nelson, Charles Draheim, Ed Peck, Silas Martens, Will Jones, Goodman, August Eberlein, 

Unknown, John Brown, George Christoph, Herman Vogt, Fred Mason. Second Row — Louis Nelson, 
George Jagerson, Chris Nelson, Ed Gray, Charles Schultz, Charles Neustadter, Fred Kaphingst. Third 
Row — James Austin, Joe Cox, Fred Melchert, John Goodman, A 1 Staffeld. 



City hall. Neenah’s outmoded and outgrown City Hall was built in 
188S. It is said that this was the last public building in Neenah to 
be paid for out of current funds. 

"Public Utilities 

Citizens of this era, as they moved out into the world and saw how 
others lived, became restive when they contemplated Neenah’s 
crude sanitary conditions. In Part II of the book the reader will find 
an interesting story of Neenah’s first sewer system, for which a pe- 
tition was signed by 21 citizens whose homes fronted on Wisconsin 
Avenue. Later, citizens along East Forest Avenue obtained a similar 
restricted facility. It was not until 1935 that these semi-private sys- 
tems were consolidated into a public utility for all of Neenah. 




T II E 18 8 O’S 



5.3 



Nor can older residents of our Twin Cities forget the disastrous 
tire which destroyed the Whiting Paper Mill in 1888, accompanied hy 
a boiler explosion killing 16 firemen and spectators. 

First £itizen to State an el Federal Office 

In 1885 the first Neenah citizen to be elected to the State Legisla- 
ture, C. B. Clark, went to Madison, and, in 1888, was chosen to repre- 
sent his district in Congress. Mr. Clark was reelected again in 1890 
and died in office in 1891. Many were the notables, including Bob 
LaFollette, Sr., who attended his funeral. 






^ “Each generation passes to the next— for better or for 
worse— in the short time left to us." 



JA (o t e s 



U^ote s 



JA Qotes 



THE l890’s 

(ts^xT^S) 



W hen one thinks in perspective of the ’90s, there comes 
into view the worst depression and money panic the 
country had ever known. Neenah, because of the nature 
and conduct of its industry, fared better than the aver- 
age, as it has in subsequent economic dips. 

We think, too, of strained relations with Spain, and the sinking of 
the battleship “Maine” in Havana harbor that plunged us into the 
Spanish-American War and set the stage for America as a world 
power. 

Struggle for Interurban Service 

Nearer home was feverish activity on the part of Milwaukee 
capitalists to put through an electric trolley line from Fond du Lac 
to Green Bay, utilizing the trackage rights of the Menasha and 
Neenah Railway Company, — only to be blocked for two years by 
refusal of the Councils of the Twin Cities to permit such use of their 
streets. The attitude of the local governing bodies reflected the fear 
of Neenah-Menasha merchants that trade, now theirs, would flow to 
the larger cities to the south and to the north. 

Jn 1891 the Appleton Electric Street Railway, after a brave but ill- 
starred existence, folded up, as did the Appleton Edison Electric 
Company in 1894. 

In spite of financial failures, there were those like A. L. Smith who 
had faith in the future of electric power, and eventually their faith 
was vindicated. In the early 1900’s the Wisconsin 'Fraction, Light, 
Heat & Power Company, and their successor, the Wisconsin Michigan 
Power Company, took over. These two companies have furnished 
industries and home owners of our city with efficient and unbroken 
service. 



57 



58 

* 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




Krueger & Lachmann Milling Company as it was on May 30, 1891. This was the last of Neenah’s flour 
mills. The site was sold to Neenah Paper Company in 1918. In the brick structure at left, Kimberly- 
Clark installed its first laboratory. 



Military Organization 

Referring again to the Spanish-American War, that episode stirred 
the blood of young men and older boys of the Twin Cities, to the end 
that a military unit under the Captaincy of J. B. Schneller was 
formed in 1899. Three years later this unit, under the designation of 
Co. I, became a part of the Wisconsin National Guard. Hon. S. A. 
Cook, whose former residence is now the home of the YWCA, con- 
tributed the money for the Armory, which still serves the local mili- 
tary unit. 

£conomic and Social "Progress 

In the decade under discussion, we find two of Neenah’s substantial 
financial institutions making their debut: — the Twin City Building 



THE 1 8 90’S 



59 




This crew worked on the Gilbert Paper Co. mill in the early 1890’s. The chimney is shown at the 
ioo' mark. 



and Loan Association in 1893, and the Equitable Fraternal Union 
(now the ERA) in 1897. 

Industrially, the Gilbert Paper Company pushes its walls out to 
install a second paper machine, and Kimberly-Clark is again on the 
march, taking over property for a new village and a new mill at 
Niagara, Wisconsin. 

J. R. Bloom, later to become owner and editor of the JA [eenah "Daily 
IMevos establishes the Menasha Evening Breeze , and Reverend J. N. 
Jersild continues until 1899 with The Danskeren , a Danish language 
paper established by him in 1894. 

Mr. Jersild also incorporated the Jersild Knitting Company early 
in this decade, and more than a half century later, the company is 



6o 



A HIS T ORY OF N E E N A II 



going strong, making its contribution to the well being of the com- 
munity. See Part JI. 

Of all of Neenah’s personal service enterprises, one of the oldest, 
in point of continuous service, was the barber shop established by 
L. P. Larson, at 115 West Wisconsin Avenue, in 1890. This shop 
moved in 1928 to 111 West Wisconsin Avenue, and continued under 
the proprietorship of Theodore C. Larson, until his retirement in 
early 1958. 

1 




The “Mystic,” a steam yacht (a coal burner) operated for hire by Otto Jorgenson during the ’80s and 
early ’90s. 



Boehm’s Market makes claim to being the oldest continuously 
operated food store in Neenah. Their books go back to 1895, when all 
meats sold for iOf£ per pound. Previous location of the store was at 
109 East Wisconsin Avenue, in a structure that was part of a livery 
stable which had originally been built on the site of the present ERA 
building. During the early ’50s, the store moved to its modern quarters 
at 203 West Wisconsin Avenue. Present proprietors are Ralph B. 
Larson and Howard C. Boehm. 

In the field of fraternal and civic societies, the H. J. Lewis Women’s 
Relief Corps comes into being in 1890. 

Also in 1890 Neenah Lodge #80 of Knights of Pythias was insti- 
tuted. 

And in 1894 the Order of the Eastern Star made its appearance. 
The (‘/lurches Kjep Tace 

The churches respond to the broadening life of the times. The First 
Evangelical (now Evangelical United Brethren) builds its new build- 



THE 1 89 0’S 



61 




A Social Group — 1899 

Left to right: 

Front row — Bessie Mott, Louis Voss, Flora Fish, Allen Montgomery. Back row — Mayhew Mott, 
Florence Mott, Will Joliffe, Gunlauf Guthormsen, Lucius Knickerbocker, Amy Fish. 



ing on corner of Bond Street and West Forest Avenue in 1890, later to 
be enlarged as their congregation grew. 

The Baptist congregation responds to the growth impulse by re- 
modeling their structure. 

1898 — The Danish Baptist Church unites with the Doty Island 
Baptist Church (later renamed the Whiting Memorial Baptist 
Church). 

In 1893 the Trinity Lutheran congregation builds a new school 
building adjoining their church at corner of Oak Street and Franklin 
Avenue. 

The First Church of Christ Scientist had its birth in Neenah in 
1897 in the home of S. B. Morgan. 

JieenaK s Increasing School ‘Population 

Neenah’s children continue their demands upon the taxpayers, re- 




62 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



suiting in a new grade school building, in 1893, on the corner of Adams 
and Isabella Streets, now known as the Lincoln School. 

At the high school appear signs of a more versatile life. The 
Argosy, the product of student enterprise, makes its appearance in 
1895, selling for 50 per copy or 35^ per year. The next year, 1896, foot- 
ball makes its entry with such performers as John Tolverson, Gus 
Kimberly, Harley Hilton, Ed Wieckert, John West, John Carmen, 
Bill Hughes, Bert Kramer, Lute Bergstrom, Charles Dau, Ed Soren- 
son, and coached by the Reverend Eddy, pastor of the Universalist 
Church. The team played nine games in all, winning four, losing four, 
and 1 tie. 1897 was a banner year for the team, for they went through 
an undefeated season, and became state champions — after which they 
played and beat the Ripon College team! 

Cultural ^Advance 

In 1896 also, thanks to the initiative and influence of Mrs. J. A. 
Kimberly, a Home Economics course was established in the school 
system. At that time it was referred to as “Domestic Science.” 

Two years later the vision of Mrs. J. A. Kimberly is again seen in 
the organization of the Economics Club of Neenah-Menasha. 

Tub lie Utilities 

Community water works. As we noted in our comment on the ’80s, 
there was a ferment in favor of a sewer system, so in the late ’80s and 
early ’90s there mounted a public demand for a community water 
system. 

The idea was deeply imbedded in the thinking of the populace of 
that day that the only safe source of pure water was the deep well. Ac- 
cordingly, in 1893, the first of Neenah’s 4 wells was drilled and the 
water flowed through its mains to the homes, commercial establish- 
ments and industries of the city. This costly and disappointing ven- 
ture led in due time to the right answer. The well water was chemically 
pure, but contained so high a content of mineral salts (60 grains per 
gallon) that it was all but useless for domestic purposes. By the early 
’30s boiler tubes and home plumbing systems were in for renewal, so 



THE 18 0 0 ’S 



clogged were they with calcium and lime deposit. Today one of the 
joys of visitors to our fair city is to take a bath in Neenah’s pure soft 
water. Our city’s substantial growth over the past twenty years is due 
in no small measure to its superior water. 

De-pot 

While 1893 is remembered as a year of economic depression, our 
Twin Cities were grateful to the C&NW Railway for the new station, 
which still gives our people a point of departure to the outside world. 




Carriage and wagon shop of Charley Bergstrom, with Herrick’s carriage paint shop above. Note safety 
bicycle, wooden sidewalk, and style in skirts — about 1896. Center rear, — brick factory building of Neenah 
Boot & Shoe Manufacturing Company. Adjoining Bergstrom’s shop to the north was Kimberly-Clark’s 
original office. Shed to the left was built out over the canal. 



Among the colorful personalities of those changing times when the 
incoming auto was threatening the horse and buggy, was Charley 
Bergstrom who, during the ’Bos and ’90s conducted a blacksmith shop 
and carriage sales room in a wooden building on North Commercial 
Street on the site of the landscaped area between Kimberly-Clark’s 
original office and the power canal. 

Charley, along with all manufacturers and dealers in carriages, soon 
saw the “handwriting on the wall.’’ Disposing of his carriage business 
in the late ’90s, he went in for bicycles. The old high wheel, it will be 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



64 

remembered, was, during those years, being displaced by the so-called 
“safety” bicycle. 

Next, we see Charley as one of the early dealers in autos. His first 
car was the Cole, and how many readers of these lines ever heard of 
one? 

Charley was an attractive talker and a persuasive salesman. Some 
of the younger gentry were fond of pretending they wanted to buy a 
car just to hear Charley talk. When the pretense became obvious, 
Charley used language that wouldn’t look well in print. 

Cigar Manufacturing 

During the latter years of the 19th century, cigar manufacturing 
held promise of becoming a stable business. George Schmidt operated 
an establishment on West Wisconsin Avenue. Charles Schultz, a one- 
time mayor (1902-7), at his peak employed as many as forty men in 
the brick building at 112 North Commercial Street. Then came the 
cigarette. Just as the auto eliminated the horse and buggy, so did the 
cigarette, plus stronger competition, narrow the market for homemade 
cigars to the point of extinction. 



“Only the key of yesterday unlocks tomorrow." 



t e s 



THE ipoo’s 



T he first decade of the new century brought with it a num- 
ber of social organizations to enrich the life of our com- 
munity. 




Leaders of Boys’ Brigade 1902-03: Standing: left to right — George Sande, Jay Gillingham, Bert 
Smith, Fred Wines, George Handler, Harvey Thomas, Guy Young, Harry Thomas, Harry Fenton 
and John LeTourneux. Seated: left to right — Rev. J. E. Chapin, James Sorenson, S. F. Shattuck, 
George Jones. Bugler: Harvey Fish 



67 





A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



68 

Boys' Brigade 

First of these stems from Dr. J. E. Chapin’s interest in the boys of 
his city. One evening in the fall of 1899 the old pastor found six boys 
on the steps of Michelson’s Hall (site of present post office). It was 
after curfew had rung. He asked the boys, one of whom was George 
Sande, our present Mayor, why they weren’t home. That question led 
to an historic conversation. Echoes of the Spanish-American War 
were still abroad. The boys said they wanted an army. That gave Dr. 
Chapin a seed thought. In January, 1900, he came up with a company 
of the Boys’ Brigade, an organization imported from Great Britain, 
which had taken root in cities along our eastern seaboard. On January 
12 forty-six boys signed the roster as charter members of the Neenah 
company. 

The Brigade marked its 57th birthday in January, 1957, with dedi- 
cation of a new home fronting on West Columbian Avenue. See Part 

II. 

Emergency Society and Visiting iSQirse ^Association 

During the latter half of the decade, two women’s service organiza- 
tions of unusual merit made their appearance. The San Francisco 
earthquake in 1906, with its trail of loss and suffering, touched the 
hearts of young women of our Twin Cities. Their response was forma- 
tion of an Emergency Society to sew for victims of that disaster. For 
fifty years since that informal beginning, successive generations of 
younger women have responded to needy situations in connection with 
the hospital and throughout the Twin Cities and adjacent areas. See 
Part II. 

The question can now be asked, “What would Neenah-Menasha do 
without the Visiting Nurse Association?” Fortunately for us, civic- 
minded women have always lived here. Back in 1908 a group of women 
of the Twin Cities launched the idea of a Visiting Nurse Association. 
Ida Heinicke, a practical nurse living on South Park Avenue, was en- 
gaged to do the field work. That was before the auto had come into 
general use. During the early days of her service, Ida walked. Later 



THE 1 90 0 ’S 69 

she got about with horse and buggy. (See Part II for listing of charter 
members.) 

Harness Makers 

Henry Schimpf, E. M. Hanson, the Cook brothers and August 
Haufe operated harness making and harness repair shops during the 
peak of the horse and buggy age. Their shops were all located toward 
the west end of Wisconsin Avenue. 

They joined the village blacksmiths in making their exit as the auto 
appeared on our streets. 




At the Turn of the Century. Looking West across properties of Kimberly-Clark and Winnebago Paper 
Mills, K-C office and Shoe Factory at left center. 

Union Organizations 

1900 also saw the first community organization of unions. Five 
unions, with a total membership of 200, formed a Central Labor Body. 




70 A HISTORY OF NEENAH 

Clks jQodge 

Elks Lodge if 6 76 was organized in 1901 in Menasha. On the rolls of 
the Lodge were Neenah men. In 1950 the name was changed to read 
Neenah-Menasha B.P.O.E. #676. 

Commercial Movement 

There were so many movements in and out of the commercial field 
during this period that one risks criticism by singling out a few. How- 
ever, the following are typical: 

Meyer Burstein entered business in 1900. Five years later he bought 
the Billstein property west of the C&NW tracks, where he built an 
addition and expanded his business of sorting paper stock and rags. 

Defnet & Jagerson Supply Company entered the field in 1900 with 
fuels and building materials. 

In 1900 Louis Otto opened a greenhouse, sold in 1918 to Ward 



View from roof of First National Bank, during street fair September 1902. Neenah Theatre was under 
construction. First performance in the new theatre was on December 26, 1902. 



THE 1 90 0’S 



7 1 




Street Fair — week of September i 5, 1902. 



Davis, who sold to Jennejohn in 1925, who passed it on to the Kraem- 
ers. They have operated the business for 25 years to their satisfaction 
and the public’s benefit. 

Frank Klinke opened a barber shop in 1903 and still serves his clien- 
tele as these lines are written. 

The Christophs organized the Twin City Fuel Company in 1902, 
located on the site of Shattuck Park, moving to present site on Main 
Street in 1914, changing name to O. K. Lumber & Fuel Company. 

Jn 1905 Haertl’s Jewelry Store moved from Menasha to Neenah. 

At the turn of the century the Postal Telegraph came to town, 
locating in the rear of Barnett’s pharmacy. Bryan Seroogy, a colorful 
personality, presided over this office for sixteen years. 

Exit Menasha & E{eenah ' I{ailway Company 

Fire destroyed the plant of the Menasha & Neenah Electric Rail- 
way Company in 1900. Emergency power was obtained from the Ap- 
pleton Electric Light & Power Company. Soon thereafter they merged 




The bank corner about the year 1909, when the E.F.U. (now E.R.A.) building was dedicated. Note the brick paving on Wisconsin Avenue, and in 
the rear of the City Hall, we see the porches of the Jasperson House. 




THE 1 90 0’S 



73 



under the title Wisconsin Fraction, Light, Heat & Power Company, 
referred to elsewhere in this document. 

Telephone Building 

Whenever the Wisconsin Telephone Company erects a substantial 
building in a community, one may be certain that they see a future for 
that locality. The first unit of Neenah’s telephone building, built in 
1908, has more than justified the telephone company’s faith in 
Neenah. 

Wisconsin Central 'Bailway Ceased to Canadian ' Pacific 'Bailway C om ~ 
pany 

Of more than passing interest to Twin City shippers is the 99 year 
lease of the Wisconsin Central Line by the Canadian Pacific Railway 
Company in 1909. The C.P.R. at that time was seeking entrance to 
Chicago, and gained it through absorption of the Wisconsin Central. 

Banking 

In 1900 the Manufacturers’ National Bank, organized in 1883, re- 
ported deposits of $474,418.63. Renewing its charter in 1901 the name 
was changed to National Manufacturers’ Bank and capital was in- 
creased to $75, coo. The bank started business in the store building 
formerly occupied by the C. B. Manville photographic studio. In 
1902 a face-lifting operation was performed on the store front to make 
it look like a bank. The single word “BANK” chiseled into the stone 
facing still proclaims its one-time status, in spite of occupany of the 
premises by the Wisconsin Michigan Power Company. Meanwhile, the 
banking institution, having long since outgrown its early habitat, 
moved across the street to its commodious quarters on the site of the 
old Russell House. 

An announcement by the National Manufacturers’ Bank, under 
date of June 1, 1907, throws an interesting sidelight on employment 
conditions of that day. The announcement, sent to depositors by post 
card, read: 



74 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



NATIONAL MAN UFACTU R K RS* BANK 
OF NEENAH, WISCONSIN 

Will close at 12 o'clock noon every Saturday morning commencing June 
/, 1907. 

This is in line with a growing tendency towards a Saturday half holi- 
day. The laborers want it and the proprietors need it. 

S. B. Morgan, Cashier 



Yachting 

The thread of yachting is woven through this story from pre-Civil 
war days to the present. It was about 1907 when the two rival organ- 
izations, the Neenah Yacht Club and the Nodaway Yacht Club, voted 
to bury the hatchet and form the Neenah-Nodaway Yacht Club. 

Industrially 

The first decade of the 20th century saw the birth of one, and the re- 
birth of two enterprises that have contributed untold economic 
strength to our Twin Cities. 

In 1901 The Banta Publishing Company, now nationally known, 
was incorporated. 

D. W. Bergstrom and his son, John, purchased the Winnebago 
Paper Mills from W. L. Davis and established the Bergstrom Paper 
Company in 1904. 

The John Strange Paper Company began the manufacture of kraft 
wrapping paper in 1907, being among the first to make that grade in 
the U. S. 



Schools 

The Kimberly High School was built in 1906, at which time the 
Washington School became a full-time grade school, serving the First 
Ward. The Kimberly School was soon outgrown for high school pur- 
poses, and took over the sixth, seventh and eighth grades of the city. 



THE 1 9 « O’S 



75 



Qhurches 

Church growth and expansion went on apace as the city grew. The 
wooden edifice of the Presbyterians, built in 1870, on the corner of 
Church and Smith Streets, was, in 1901, displaced by a brick 
structure. In 1903, Dr. J. E. Chapin, for thirty-three years its 
pastor, retired. 

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church dedicated its new building on Isabella 
Street in 1905. 

In 1906, First Church of Christ Scientist purchased the building 
formerly the property of the Episcopal congregation and later moved 
it to their site at 113 East Wisconsin Avenue. 

In this year (1906) the Methodist Congregation dedicated its new 
building opposite the City Hall. Coincident with its building program, 
the Neenah Danish, Menasha Methodist and Clayton Methodist 
churches merged with the First Methodist of Neenah. 

Entering the last year of this ten-year period, two significant addi- 
tions to Neenah ’s life appeared: 

1. The Betty Rebekah Lodge was instituted. 

2. The Equitable Fraternal Union (now ERA) dedicated its new 
building on South Commercial Street. 




First Methodist Church, as it was from 1906 to 1937, when it was destroyed by fire. 



~G A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




Herman Anspach’s well-advertised general store — 1907. 



The Theda Qlark Memorial Hospital 

Theda Clark Peters died in 1904. Having caught the germ of civic 
responsibility from her illustrious father, she left a bequest in her will 
with which to build a hospital. Her brother, Charles B. (Bill) Clark, 
carried out her wishes, adding to her bequest out of his own funds. 
Thus came into being in 1909 the Theda Clark Memorial Hospital. 
Story of the new ami rebuilt hospital will be found in Part II. 

EMeenah 1 Auditorium Company — Early Movie Houses — ENpenah Qlub 

John Studley, who has been prodigal with his help in this historical 
project, contributed the following sketch, which traces the organiza- 
tion of the Neenah Auditorium Company, the advent of motion pic- 
tures, and, finally, the birth of the Neenah Club, which took over 
ownership and management of the property, leasing the Neenah 
theatre for movies and converting the original dance hall and base- 
ment for club purposes: 

Neenah at the turn of the century lacked facilities of a theatre equipped to bring 
companies then touring the country to the city. Local residents desirous of seeing 
theatrical presentations were forced to depend upon Appleton and Oshkosh and 
an increasing number patronized both out-of-town playhouses. These were in the 
days before the development of motion pictures, radio and television which have 
all but “relegated” the legitimate drama to the metropolitan centers. 



Til E 1 9 0 O’S 



77 



Growing popular demand resulted in organization of The Neenah Auditorium 
Company, which, according to records, filed articles of incorporation on December 
5, 1901. These stated the company had been formed “for the purpose of erecting 
and maintaining a theatre, opera and general amusement house, and the leasing of 
same and the construction for and placing before the people of lectures, operas, 
&c.” Capital stock of the company was listed as $20,000. Officers were: President, 
F. J. Sensenbrenner; Vice-President, M. W. Krueger, and Secretary-Treasurer, 
S. B. Morgan. 

Property on East Wisconsin Avenue, present site of the Neenah Theatre building, 
was purchased from various owners following a public stock subscription. The 
theatre and auditorium were erected during 1902. The opening show was on De- 
cember 26 of that year. A few remain who can recall the gala opening of the Neenah 
Theatre, for which the talented Walker Whiteside Shakespearean Company played 
a week's engagement to packed houses. In ensuing years Neenah Theatre patrons 
were regaled with some of the finest road shows then on tour. Stock companies 
playing weekly engagements were also popular, among them the celebrated Winniger 
Brothers, who evolved from a beginning as an orchestra for the Appleton Theatre. 

But in the first and early in the second decades of the twentieth century were to 
come the movie houses, or “nickel theatres," as they were at first popularly known. 
First of these was the Idle Hour, started by P. J. Droske, in the Schimpf building 
on West Wisconsin Avenue, now occupied by the Krause Clothing Store. A few 
years later (dates are not definite) the Mer Mac was opened in the H. A. Stone 
building, several doors east from the Idle Hour, by a Manager named Anderson, 
from the northern part of the state. Still later the late John Herziger opened his 
Doty Theatre, near the corner of North Commercial Street and Forest Avenue. 

Competition from the movies and decline in the calibre of traveling road shows 
adversely affected the Neenah theatre and its owners, and financial difficulties were 
encountered. 

In the meantime, the Neenah Club had been organized and leased the auditorium 
portion of the theatre building. The club was formed in 1909, its incorporators being 
F. E. Ballister, C. B. Clark and F. A. Leavens. Transfer of ownership of the theatre 
building by the Neenah Auditorium Company to the Neenah Club was recorded 
as of October 22, 1919. The club, for nominal consideration and assumption of the 
financial obligations of the auditorium company, became the owner, and remains so, 
of the theatre property. A provision in the deed, however, makes it mandatory for 
the club to maintain the building as a “general amusement house for the citizens 
of Neenah and vicinity." In event of dissolution of the club or relinquishment of its 
responsibilities in regard to the building, the property will revert to the city of 
Neenah. 

The club at present leases the theatre section of the building as a motion picture 
house. The original dance floor (or auditorium) and basement were converted into 
the present facilities of the Neenah Club. 



otes 



J^otes 



JA [^ote s 



World War I 



D ominating all other events of this era was World War I, 
| originating in central Europe, and eventually embroiling 
' America and Neenah. 

Company I saw service on the Mexican border during 
the last half of 1916, returning home in January, 1917. 

On April 7, 1917 Congress declared war against the central powers. 
In the summer of that year, Co. I of Neenah, under Captain Bert 
Smith, and newly formed Co. E of Menasha under Captain Dick Hill, 
left for Camp Douglas, where they trained till fall. They then left for 
Camp MacArthur, at Waco, Texas, were mustered into the 32nd Divi- 
sion, and shipped overseas in January, 1918. Participating in the 
Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne offensives, they later be- 
came part of the Army of Occupation in Germany. They returned 
home during the spring and summer of 1919. See Col. Dan Hardt’s 
military history — Part II. 

On their return, they organized Hawley-Dieckhoff Post #33 of the 
American Legion. The following year the Auxiliary to that post was 
organized. 

Earlier in this decade (1912) the C. B. Clark Circle — Ladies of the 
Grand Army of the Republic — took its place among the patriotic 
societies of the community. 

Inspired by the patriotic fervor of the times, the Neenah Chapter 
of the Red Cross took shape. It was through that great organization 
that comfort was brought to our boys overseas and to their families at 
home. At no time of need or emergency during subsequent years has 
the local chapter of Red Cross failed to assume its share of responsi- 
bility. Across all the intervening years, two public-spirited citizens 



82 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



stand out as leaders and supporters of this humanitarian movement, 
namely, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Clark. 

zA ‘By-'Product of War 

War always brings its by-products, both good and bad. Among the 
constructive by-products of World War I, destined to be of untold 
economic benefit to Neenah, was the manufacture by Kimberly-Clark 
of a highly absorbent pulp product for the Army and the Red Cross. 
This product was given the name “Cellucotton.” It was used for 
sponges in major surgical operations. Nurses and other women con- 
nected with the Armed Services during the war found an unplanned 
use for this substance in their monthly periods. Following the war, 
Kimberly-Clark assigned this idea to its research department and out 
of the research came “Kotex.” Following in the wake of “Kotex” 
came “Kleenex” and a host of other sanitary products, to the end 
that today, thirteen Kimberly-Clark plants across the world are serv- 
ing their generations with those popular items, first thought of and 
made in Neenah. 

In this connection it should be noted that in 1914 Ernst Mahler 
cast his lot with Kimberly-Clark. Not only was Mr. Mahler a skilled 
chemical engineer, but through his leadership there followed a galaxy 
of younger men trained in the chemical and physical sciences. Paper- 
making is still an art, but this generation of scientists has undergirded 
it with a firm scientific texture. 

The Institute of Paper Chemistry at Appleton, which has had a pro- 
found influence on the paper industry of North America, owes its ex- 
istence to Ernst Mahler’s vision and initiative. 

First Flay ground equipment 

The broadening life of the “teens” (1911) saw the first expenditure 
of funds for playground equipment. The local chapter of the Red 
Cross started the ball rolling, later to be assumed by the Park and Rec- 
reation Department of the city. 

To mention the weather may seem superfluous, but the winter of 
191a will be remembered as one of the coldest. January records days of 
20 0 to 30° below zero, resulting in anchor ice, ice jams and power fail- 
ures. 



THE 1910’S 



83 

Shattuck Tark 

During the early years of this decade, Clara A. Shattuck became 
increasingly distressed as she passed and repassed the parcel of land 
adjoining the river bank, between the library grounds and the C&NW 
tracks. It had become a rubbish dump and a disgrace to the city. She 
acquired title to the property in 1912, converted it into a park, includ- 
ing cement retaining wall and an artistic boat house, and presented 
the park to the city in 1915. During the late ’40s and early ’50s, the 
property degenerated to the point where the Shattuck heirs threatened 
to exercise a recovery clause in the deed of gift. This led to a working 
agreement between the Park Board, the Shattuck family and the re- 
cently formed Tri-City Boating Club, whereby the original plan of 
the park was revised to accommodate the boating enthusiasts and pre- 
serve the heart of the property as a beauty spot. 

Schools 

No new schools were required during this decade, but cooperative 
interest in our schools continued to expand. Mothers’ Societies made 
their appearance in 191 5, which paved the way for the P.T.A.’s of our 
day. 

“The Council Tree,” a school annual, began publication in 1919, 
continuing until 1922. 

In 1912 the first school nurse, Mrs. Florence Lee, was employed. 

The following year the Vocational School, to which Carl Christensen 
devoted his working years, made its beginning. 

H ospital 

The Theda Clark Hospital, looked upon by many in its early days 
with dread and as something to be avoided, was, by this time, ac- 
cepted. In 1910 a nursing school, affiliated with Cook County Hos- 
pital, was started. Miss Amelia Ritchie, Superintendent of the hos- 
pital, became the first Director of the school in cooperation with the 
local medical fraternity. By 1919 the hospital, now overtaxed, was en- 
larged. 

In the early days of this decade, also, a “Girls’ Club” was instigated 
by a committee of the Tuesday Club. Led by Helen Babcock, quarters 



Shattuck Park — 




Looking north from Wisconsin Avenue. 




84 




before and after 





Looking northwest from library line. 



85 



86 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



were rented in the second floor of the store building at the corner of 
Church Street and West Wisconsin Avenue, and a Director was en- 
gaged. In 1914 the “Girls’ Club” became the “Young Women’s Club” 
and was moved to the Shiells’ home on Doty Avenue, which had been 
purchased for the purpose by Miss Babcock and others. 

The “Young Women’s Club” later evolved into the YWCA, pres- 
ently housed in the former residence property of Hon. S. A. Cook, at 
the corner of W. N. Water and N. Commercial Streets. 

John Boreson began in 1911 a forty-year stretch with the Western 
Union Telegraph Company. During most of these years, it was a one- 
man office, plus a messenger boy and his bicycle. John took more than 
a commercial interest in his many clients, often expressing solicitude 
and sympathy as he delivered messages bringing sorrow or disappoint- 
ment. 

In 1919 two old rivals, th tddeenah Times , edited for many years by 
J. N. Stone, and the T)aily !Mews , presided over by the Bloom family, 
merged to form the Nyenah ddews-Times. This paper later, under the 
ownership of E. C. Cochrane, absorbed the Menasha Record and be- 
came the Twin Qity d\ews ‘Record. 

In 1910 Harry M. Brown, a machine tender in the old Neenah Mill 
of Kimberly-Clark, retired from papermaking and formed the 
Harry M. Brown Insurance Agency. 

C. H. Velte linked his life with the life of Neenah in 1912, forming a 
law partnership with Lewis J. Somers and in 1925 joining with Fat 
Molzow. 

Ranking 

During 1913 the capital stock of Neenah’s two older banks was in- 
creased: — The First National to $125,000 and the National Manu- 
facturers’ to $100,000. 

The Neenah State Bank incorporated and opened for business in 
1 9 1 1 . Following the bank holiday in 1933, this bank failed to open, ex- 
cept temporarily. That story is told in the decade of the ’30s. Suffice 
it to say here that, given time, the assets of the bank were equal to all 
but a small part of the demands made upon them. 



THE 19 10’S 



87 




(Jus Kalfahs’ dry goods and grocery store, 19 10. Mr. Kalfahs is at center of the group of five. This 
building is now occupied by Tews Dress Shop. Note the hitching post. 



Kjmlark building 

The National Textile Fiber Company, chartered on January 26, 
1915, was a subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark. The first section of the 
present Kimlark building was constructed for the manufacture of 
paper rugs. Nine years later (June, 1924) this operation was divorced 
from Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and a new corporation, Kimlark 
Rug Company, took over the rug business, with Harry Price as Presi- 
dent. 

During the intervening years this building “enjoyed” a checkered 
but colorful career. When the rug company went out of business, it 
became a transient shoe factory. When shoe manufacturing failed, 
Kimberly-Clark bought the property for one phase of their growing 
wall paper operation. Then came the war. Wall paper gave way to gun 
mounts. At war’s end another transformation occurred. Kimberly- 
Clark’s Engineering Department redid the interior to fit their far- 



88 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



flung needs, and, as these lines are written, the Engineering Depart- 
ment is still at home in this location. 

(‘hurch Movement 

St. Paul’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church made its entrance 
into the life of the city in 1913. Services were held in a small chapel on 
Bond Street, near High Street. Growth was rapid and substantial due 
to the large numbers of second and third generation young people of 
Lutheran upbringing, who spoke English rather than the mother 
tongue of their parents. The property on the corner of North Com- 
mercial and West North Water Streets was purchased in 1914, on 
which the present church was erected in 1916. Rev. A. J. Sommer was 
the first pastor, serving for fourteen years. 

St. Thomas Episcopal Church dedicated its new church home on 
South Washington Street, Menasha, in 1915. 

George Whiting presented to the Baptist congregation its present 
property, including the church edifice, which was dedicated in 1917 
as “Memorial Baptist Church.” 

The First Church of Christ Scientist purchased in 1915 the church 
structure and real estate at 229 East Wisconsin Avenue, evacuated in 
that year by the Episcopal congregation. 

J(abor ^Advance 

1916 will be remembered in pulp and paper circles for the long over- 
due displacement of the archaic thirteen hour night and eleven hour 
day shifts by the three eight-hour shift system. 

In 1917 the Central Labor Body reorganized and consolidated under 
the “Neenah-Menasha Trades & Labor Council.” 

Industrial Ins and Outs 

In 1918 there passed from the scene the last of the flour mills that 
formerly lined Neenah’s power canal. The Krueger & Lachmann Mill- 
ing Company, the lone survivor, sold its property (idle since the 
fire in 1 9 1 1 ) to the Neenah Paper Company in that year. 

The Bergstrom Paper Company pushed its walls out during this dec- 



THE 191 OS 



89 



ade, installing two new paper machines, — 132" and 158", and erecting 
a new building to house its finishing equipment. 

'Fhe second decade of the twentieth century saw four enterprises 
added to the Twin City industrial fraternity: 

1. The Hardwood Products Company organized in 1910 to make 
hardwood doors and interior trim. 'This company was the out- 
growth of a small veneer mill erected by C. B. Clark, D. L. 
Kimberly, William C. Wing and E. I). Beals, near Vicksburg, 
Mississippi, two years earlier. 

2. The J. W. Hewitt Machine Company, who purchased the prop- 
erty on North Commercial Street from the Jamison Machine 
Works. 

3. A division of the Banta Publishing Company under the name 
George Banta Paper Company was renamed in 1917 “The Cen- 
tral Paper Company.” Later, in 1939, William Gerbrick and 
Stuart Thompson acquired ownership of the business. 

4. Gavin Young and his sons, Dudleigh and Gavin, Jr., instituted 
the Edgewater Paper Company in 1917. 

Fhe John Strange Paper Company demonstrated its vitality in 1917 
by installing a 144" cylinder machine, said to be the widest machine 
of its kind up to that date. 

Two significant changes occurred in 1918-19 when Aylward Sons 
Company changed its name to Neenah Foundry Company, followed 
by election of E. J. Aylward to the presidency in 1919, upon his return 
from service in World War I. Under his leadership this foundry has 
achieved a position of dominance in its field. 

As this decade neared its close, the Gilbert Paper Company in- 
stalled its third paper machine. 



Commercial 

A brief rundown of commercial happenings during the decade finds 
F. W. Woolworth Company thinking Neenah worthy of their atten- 
tion. 

George Sande and Fred Abendschein started business under the 
banner of the Neenah Auto & Implement Company. 



9 o 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Frank Durham came to town and established the Durham Lumber 
Company on North Commercial Street. 

The Twin City Savings & Loan Company moved to the second floor 
of the Neenah State Bank Building. Under the presidencies of Andrew 
and Iveaux Anderson, this institution has taken its place as one of 
Neenah ’s stable financial enterprises. 

The Neenah Hardware Company entered the hardware field and 
still holds forth at the old stand. 

Andrew Anderson, whose early training was with Will Nelson in the 
jewelry business, organized the Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company 
in 1912, with headquarters in Neenah. 

Finally, to round out a decade of growth, the federal government in 
1917 constructed our post office, which, as of this writing, is outgrown. 

(\ B. "‘Bill” Qlark Enters ‘Public jQife 

During this decade, age handed the torch of municipal leadership to 
youth. J. N. Stone, long-time editor of the !b(eenah Times , having 
served as Village President in 1868, five terms as Mayor of the city, 
plus a term as Superintendent of Schools, was approaching the end of 
his public service. 

C. B. “Bill” Clark, four years out of Yale University, entered the 
Council as Alderman from the First Ward in 1908. Two years as Aider- 
man gave him the “lay of the land.” In 1912 he ran for Mayor and 
won the election. 

Neenah in that day had earned for itself an unsavory reputation. 
While never “boasting” of a red light district, there were certain ad- 
dresses known to traveling men and to local gentry of uncertain 
morals that would fit into a red light category. Neenah was known, 
too, for its gambling fraternity. Bill Clark saw this as a challenge. On 
June 2, 1915, the Council, at his insistence, passed “an ordinance pro- 
hibiting the operation of houses of ill fame or leasing of premises there- 
for, or being of an inmate thereof, or detaining certain persons 
therein.” Listed in the ordinance were appropriate penalties for non- 
conformance. 

Meanwhile, employing a detective service, paid for out of his own 
pocket, Bill had quietly assembled his evidence. Without publicity or 



THE 1 9 1 O’S 



91 



resort to legal procedures, he confronted the erring citizens with the 
facts. When the proprietors of the questionable resorts saw that he 
meant business, they “folded their tents.” Neenah’s moral atmosphere 
improved. 

In scanning the ordinances passed during C. B. Clark’s years in the 
Mayor’s office, one is impressed with the emphasis on human, as well 
as material, welfare. For instance, ordinances to: 

prevent spitting on streets and in public places; 

forbidding minors or drunkards to purchase intoxicating liquors and prohibiting 
the furnishing of intoxicating liquors to minors and drunkards; 

licensing and regulation of billiard and pool rooms; 
requiring payment of a license fee by transient merchants; 
prevent animals running at large. 

On May 5, 1915 came Neenah’s first zoning ordinance, although the 
term “zoning” was not yet coined. In that year land on East Wisconsin 
Avenue, from Walnut Street to the lake, was declared to be a resi- 
dential district. 

No J, license Campaign 

The latter half of this decade was a hectic era in the life of the 
states. Revulsion against the control of city governments by the 
liquor interests was fanned into flame by the determination of parents 
and church groups to protect their boys then in Service from unneces- 
sary temptation. This resulted in Dry Leagues and local no “license” 
campaigns. 

After a hectic campaign during the first quarter of 1917, Neenah 
swung into the no license column by a vote of 630 to 625. A recount re- 
duced the majority to one! 

The newspapers of the day remarked that “excitement reigned 
supreme!” 

Menasha also voted on this question, and went wet by an over- 
whelming majority. 

Nationally, the dry wave rolled along to usher in the ill-fated 18th 
Amendment, which went into effect January 16, 1920, and was re- 
pealed in 1933 during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term. 



9 - 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Stage plays at the Neenah Theatre were real “occasions” in the 
“teens.” In 1917 we find Ted McGillan directing local talent in the 
production of “Where the Trail Divides.” 

Interurban Service 

In January 1917 Neenah’s Council granted permission to the Wis- 
consin Fraction Light, Heat & Power Company to terminate their run 
from Appleton at the Valley Inn, rather than at Barnett’s corner. In 
view of the increasing use of autos, the terminal at the corner of Wis- 
consin Avenue and Commercial Street was becoming increasingly 
hazardous. 

As indicated elsewhere, the auto was already a threat to the life of 
the interurban street car. 

The Valley Inn 

Neenah citizens, having rallied during the previous decade to the 
need for a library and a theatre, were now ready to respond to another 
challenge. The city needed a modern hotel. Led by F. J. Sensenbren- 
ner, merchants, industries, and individual citizens subscribed approxi- 
mately $200,000 of stock in a hotel to be built. Edwin Bergstrom, a 
former Neenah boy, planned the structure, which was built in 1916. 

Ed, as he was known by his schoolmates, was born and grew up 




THE 191 O’S 



93 



here. His father, George O. Bergstrom, was a one-time Mayor of 
Neenah. After graduation from college and architectural school, Ed 
located and practiced his profession in southern California, which 
probably accounts for the architectural style chosen for the Valley 
Inn. Later, Ed Bergstrom was credited with the design of the Penta- 
gon in Washington. 

It is interesting, in retrospect, to reflect upon the controversy of 
that day as to where the new hotel should be located. Merchants up 
and down the street pulled for the site eventually chosen. Others, 
pointing out the noise factor of close proximity to the C.&N.W. tracks, 
advocated a site on Lake Shore Avenue overlooking Lake Winnebago 
or a location on South Park Avenue near the water plant. They argued 
that, in addition to the travelling public, such a location would be 
attractive to summer tourists. It is permissible, in the light of hind- 
sight and changed conditions, to speculate on who was right. 

Federal Income Tax Makes Its Modest entrance 

Of personal interest to most citizens was the federal income tax law 
that went into effect January 3, 1917. Unmarried persons with incomes 
of $3, coo and family heads with incomes of $4,000 were taxed z % — 
with a graduated scale for incomes above those figures. The gradua- 
tions of 1917 look quite modest from the vantage point of 1957. 



From the gravestone of Charles Lyell, Derbyshire , England: 

Throughout a long and laborious life 
He sought the means of deciphering 
The fragmentary records 
Of the Earth' s history 
In the patient investigation 
Of the present order of nature 
Enlarging the boundaries of knowledge 
And leaving on scientific thought 
An enduring influence. 

0 Lord , How great are Thy works 
And Thy thoughts are very deep. 



I Ttytes 



JA (j)tes 



T H E 



I 920 ’s 

by JOHN STUDLEY 



Women's Suffrage 



T 



■^he decade which journalists refer to as “the roaring 
twenties” was ushered in with an historic note — women’s 
suffrage became effective in 1920 and they exercised under 
the 19th amendment to the Constitution for the first time 
in November’s general election their right to vote. Unfortunately from 
the historian’s standpoint, local election boards tabulated no break- 
down of the masculine and feminine vote, so the percentage of ballots 
cast by women that year remains obscure. It was not until 1937 that 
separate counts were made of men’s and women’s votes. Then it was 
found that women were casting approximately 40-45 per cent of the 
total vote. 

Mayors who served Neenah in the 1920-30 period were E. C. Arne- 
mann, ’2o-’2i; J. H. Dennhardt, ’22-’23; George E. Sande, present 
full-time mayor, ’24-’25; Dennhardt again in '26-27 and Sande again 
in ’28-’ 33 . 



With their newly-won ballet franchise, a Neenah League of Women 
Voters was organized in 1920. It went out of existence shortly, how- 
ever, but was reorganized in 1947. 

The year 1920 also marked the organization of the American Legion 
Auxiliary to James P. Hawley Post No. 33, named after the first 
Neenah boy to give his life in World War I service to his country. 



Wisconsin J^orthern Railway 

In that first year, also, of the boisterous era, the last railroad 
reached Winnebago Junction on the outskirts of the city — the Wiscon- 
sin Northern. The line was organized in 1906 by the late Charles R. 



97 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



98 

Smith, of the Menasha Wooden Ware Corporation, Leander Choate 
and Charles Bray, of Oshkosh, and M. J. Wall rich of Shawano. 

The year also saw the establishment of the city’s first “fresh air” 
school, set up in the auditorium of the City Hall, with a “fresh air” 
camp started at Wheeler’s Point, on the shores of Lake Winnebago. 
They were maintained until 1926. 

: Hanking and Industrial 

In 1920 J. A. Kimberly was elected Chairman of the Board of the 
First National Bank, and F. E. Ballister was named President. Plans 
were made for a new building, the present edifice, and the institution 
increased its surplus account to $125,000. 

In the same year the Kimberly-Clark Corporation erected the first 
units of its Kapuskasing Mill, and also early in the 1920’s, a two- 
machine paper mill was built at Niagara Falls. 

1921 was marked by the opening of the new First National 
Bank building, opening of a branch of the Richmond Company, dry 
cleaners, here; establishment of the Lenz & Angermeyer Plumbing 
Company (which dissolved partnership in 1926) and establishment 
of the School Stationers Corporation, the Island Drug Store, and 
Olene’s Shop. 

First ^Automobile Dealership 

While Charles Bergstrom seems to have been the first sales agency 
for automobiles in Neenah, the Jaeger-Dowling Company stands un- 
challenged as the oldest automobile dealership in the Neenah-Me- 
nasha-Appleton district, still in business. W. J. Dowling came to the 
Twin Cities from Oshkosh in February, 1920, taking over manage- 
ment of the Ford Garage and Neenah Taxi Line, operating at the Val- 
ley Inn Garage. The Jaeger-Dowling Company was incorporated 
August 1, 1922. In 1946 Dowling purchased the Standard Oil Station, 
at the intersection of First & Commercial Streets. This is said to have 
been the first regular filling station established in Winnebago County. 

Doty Dark and the Winnebago Flayers 

Land for picturesque Doty Park was donated to the city by the late 



THE 19 2 O’S 



99 



C. B. Clark in 1922, and, with other individuals, added to the gift to 
increase the size of the recreation center. The park was formally dedi- 
cated in 1928, after dredging of the lagoon had been completed. 

An out-of-door dramatic production, “Prunella,” directed by Miss 
Ruth Dieckhoff, signalized the opening of this beauty spot to the 
public. It was from this performance that the Winnebago Players 
took off, and for several years put on outstanding productions in the 
parks of Neenah and Menasha. 

The year also marked the purchase by the National Manufacturers’ 
Bank of the site on which stood the historic Russell House. Razing 
of the hotel to make room for the present banking edifice was com- 
pleted, and the new building occupied on June 15, 1923. 

The costly Baptist Church fire occurred in 1922, but the building 
was promptly restored. In 1925 the name of the church was changed 
to “Whiting Memorial Baptist Church,” further gifts having been 
made by the late George A. Whiting to the church. 

The Edgewater Paper Company, located in Menasha as a convert- 
ing mill, in 1922 installed a machine for the manufacture of duplexed 
waterproof papers. 

Neenah’ s "Disastrous Sleet Storm 

Many Twin City residents can recall the disastrous sleet storm 
which struck the valley shortly before dawn of February 22, 1922, 
tearing down power and communication lines and all but isolating 
Neenah and Menasha for the better part of a week. Trees still bear the 
scars of the unprecedented ice deluge. 

Radio was then in its infancy, and all messages sent on the “air” 
waves were in code. Quinn Bros., pioneers in the retail radio field, im- 
provised a station on the top floor of the Bergstrom Paper Company 
mill, and made this city’s first post-storm contact with the outside 
world. The station was established in the Bergstrom Mill, because its 
own power plant furnished the alternating current necessary to oper- 
ate the radio transmitters. The station continued in operation for six 
days, its time being chiefly devoted to coding orders to railroads for 
coal for Twin City industries, and dispatching trains. Permission for 
temporary operation of the station on a commercial basis was obtained 



IOO 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



from the headquarters of the Ninth Naval Reserve District at Chicago. 
William and Cornelius Quinn, owners of Quinn Bros., were assisted in 
the dispatch and receipt of messages by Homer Bishop and Harold 
Nielsen, among the earlier Neenah “hams.” 

William Quinn, incidentally, recalls that he received his first speeding 
ticket during the sleet storm emergency. The brothers, in addition to 
their radio activities, operated a restaurant near the Soo Line Depot, 
and it became necessary for William to make a hurried trip to the Hop- 
fensperger Market at Menasha for a supply of meat. He did it in rec- 
ord time, but a watchful policeman judged he drove too fast and gave 
him a court summons. 

Another interesting sidelight of the storm was its effect upon pub- 
lication of the city’s only daily newspaper, The News-Times. Its lino- 
types and presses immobilized for lack of power, its editors recovered 
sufficiently from the first day’s shock to produce a miniature four-page 
paper, hand set and printed on a job press, which carried an abbrevi- 
ated report of the catastrophe, and was complete even to a weather 
forecast and single advertisement, a church social! Subsequent days’ 
issues were somewhat enlarged, with a tractor obtained from the 
Jaeger-Dowling Company powering the main press with belt trans- 
mission. 

i Boy Scouts 

Boy Scouting, which had its origin in 1910, came to the Twin Cities 
in 1921 with organization of St. Thomas Episcopal Church troop, the 
first of which there is any authentic record. 

The Valley Council of Boy Scouts was organized at Appleton in 
1920, and was joined by Neenah and Menasha troops in 1923. 

The First Service Station 

A 1 Laflin is claimant to the distinction of operating Neenah ’s first 
all-round service station, including window and car washing, greasing 
and vacuuming of car interiors. In 1930, A 1 leased the property at 521 
Winneconne Avenue from Cook & Brown Lime Company and pur- 
chased it from them in 1937. Its first owner was C. A. Douglas. 



THE 19 2 O’S 



lOl 



King’s Daughters Service Circle was established here in 1923, a 
Junior Circle, known as Frances Gilbert, two years later, and the Wel- 
fare Circle of King’s Daughters in 1949. 

The year 1923 marked establishment of the Quality Printing Com- 
pany in the present JA (ewsSRjcord building (owned by the Sherry in- 
terests) by Arnold Jacob, its present President. The business is now 
located in its own building on Main Street. 

First I JfYtA Regatta Staged Here 

'I'he first regatta of the Inland Lakes Yachting Association to be 
sailed in Neenah was held here in August, 1923, and attracted sailors 
from many midwestern sailing centers. 

Completion of the present Roosevelt (Third Ward) school also was 
recorded in 1923. 

Immanuel’s Evangelical and Reformed Church completed a large 
addition to its building in 1924. 

First of the Service (flubs 

The year 1925 brought organization of the Neenah Rotary Club. 
Lee Rasey, prominent Appleton Rotarian, and Howard P. “Cub” 
Buck, of Green Bay Packer football fame, were largely instrumental in 
formation of the club, which had a group of about twenty charter 
members. The club remains active, with a much larger membership. 

Establishment of the Ideal Bakery, by Edward Tyriver, took 
place in 1925, and in the same year, the late George Danke started the 
Neenah Milk Products Company. The firm was reorganized in 1939, 
with the Galloway interests, of Fond du Lac, owners. 

Dedication of the beautiful Masonic Temple, on Wisconsin Avenue 
across from the Neenah Library, took place in the year 1926. 

Neenah made its start as a leading bowling center in the year 1926, 
when the first mixed doubles league of the Fox River Valley was or- 
ganized in the Muench alleys, then located in the basement of the 
building on East Wisconsin Avenue across from the Valley Inn, then 
known as the Valley Inn Garage. Muench’s Recreation Center is now 



102 



A HISTORY OF NEENAI1 




The First Rotary Club — 192$, Front Row, left to right: Joe Weishaupt, John Studley, T. D. Smith, 
George Kelly, Will Krueger, Lynn Leffingwell. Middle Row: Hy Behnke, Toby Kuehl, Richard Disney, 
Ray Peters, Knox Kimberly, Harley Hilton, Andrew Anderson. Third Row: J. M. Donovan, Charles 
Sommers, “Cub” Buck, Leo Schubart, Ed Arnemann, Ray Heron, D. L. Kimberly. 



located on North Commercial Street, and has been the site tor many 
outstanding kegling events, including one state tournament. 

Also in T926 the late George Burnside organized the Burnside Paper 
Company, now known as the Sawyer Paper Company. Kstablishment 
of the Valley Press occurred in the same year, and the Bergstrom 
Paper Company constructed a new warehouse. 

Neenah’s present vigorous summer recreation program had its be- 
ginning in 1926, when George Christoph was hired as organizer and 
director. 

The year was also marked by construction of McKinley Grade 
School, serving Fourth Ward students. 




THE 1 9 2 O’S 



103 



Doty £abin Moved to Doty Dark 

In 1926, as Doty Park was taking shape, the Strange family, at the 
suggestion of the Neenah Park Board, gave to the city the original 
Doty Cabin, the one-time home of James Duane Doty, second terri- 
torial Governor. The old structure originally faced the mouth of the 
river, as shown on page 42 of Cunningham’s history. It was moved to 
the site of its replica in Doty Park, facing Lincoln Street. Today the 
replica of this historic old cabin houses many relics of the pioneer days, 
including some of the possessions of the late Governor and his wife. 
It is visited each year by hundreds of persons, including tourists from 
practically every state in the union. 

When the original edition of Cunningham’s History was exhausted, 
Emma Foeltzer Burnham made 27 longhand copies for her friends 
and relatives, and one of these remarkable copies is placed in the 
Doty Cabin. Mrs. Burnham celebrated her 90th birthday on Feb- 
ruary 22, 1958. Her interest in the writing of this history never 
dimmed. 

The Neenah-Menasha Finance Company began doing business here 
in 1926. 

The year 1927 brought Krause’s, a men’s clothing store, to 
Neenah ; saw the name of the Wisconsin Traction Light, Heat & Power 
Company changed to the Wisconsin Michigan Power Company, and 
the Postal Telegraph Company moved into the Spude Electric Com- 
pany building on North Commercial Street. 

Marathon Corporation 

So far as this record is concerned, 1927 is the key date in referring 
to the Marathon Corporation, for it was in this year that the Mara- 
athon Company, of Rothschild, Wisconsin, under the far-sighted lead- 
ership of I). C. Everest, acquired the Menasha Printing & Carton 
Company. The Menasha Printing & Carton Company was the result 
of a merger in 1917 of the Menasha Printing Company, founded by 
Sam Clinedinst, and the Menasha Carton Company, organized by 
George S. Gaylord. From 1927 there followed, through the ’30s, ’40s 
and ’50s, expansion at home and across the land, until today Marathon 



]°4 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



(now a subsidiary of American Canco) leads in the fields of food 
packaging, household papers, general packaging and other paper and 
paperboard products. 

Latterly, Marathon’s local growth has flowed into Neenah: — a 
graphic arts plant on Western Avenue, built in 1954; 1955, the impres- 
sive flexible packaging plant on Cecil Street; and now, a new general 
office on land recently annexed to Neenah’s south side. See Part II. 

It was in the same year that a Neenah Chapter of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution was organized in Neenah, and the Busi- 
ness and Professional Women’s Club was formed in the same period. 

Passing of the old Appleton-Neenah interurban street cars came in 
1928, one year following the demise of the Neenah-Oshkosh inter- 
urban line. In the former instance, the cars were replaced by motor 
buses. 

A new power plant was constructed by the Bergstrom Paper Com- 
pany in 1928, and the year also saw erection of a new nurses’ home for 
Theda Clark Hospital. 

The Young Women’s Club of Neenah and Menasha affiliated with 
the national Young Women’s Christian Association in 1929, and 
moved into its present building, the former S. A. Cook homestead, on 
North Commercial Street. 

In the same year the Visiting Nurse Association employed its first 
trained graduate public health nurse, Miss Laura Chase. Miss Ida 
Heinicke had been the only staff member prior to this time. 

Organization of the Valley Plumbing and Heating Supply Corpora- 
tion, now the Valley Supply Corporation, occurred in 1928. Records 
also indicate establishment of the Comfort Beauty Shop in the late 
1920’s, one of the earlier establishments of its kind in the city. 

Helen K.. Stuart ‘Promotes Sand and “ Point ” Park 

In 1929 the late Mrs. Helen K. Stuart, who later served one term on 
the common council, representing the First Ward, was largely instru- 
mental in organization of the Neenah High School Band, and brought 
Lester Mais here as Director. Under his skillful and indefatigable lead- 
ership, a band music program was instituted which has resulted in the 



THE 1 9 2 O’S 



i°5 

hand and its individual members annually taking first place awards in 
state and regional tournaments. Les Mais’ contribution to the youth 
of Neenah is a generous one, and extends beyond the school curricu- 
lum to such organizations as the Brigade and Bluket bands. It is fitting 
that he was honored by his former students in 1954, as they celebrated 
with him his 25th year of service to Neenah. 

In the same year (1929) Mrs. Stuart acquired the property which is 
now the location of Kimberly Point Park, and presented it to the city. 

The Senior High School, located on Division Street, was completed 
in 1929. 

Tireak in the Stock Market 

Who will ever forget the bewilderment of the last weeks of 1929 
following the break in the securities market in October? Retrench- 
ment everywhere. Fear gripped the hearts of people, and fear made a 
bad situation worse. 

Thus the ’20s bequeathed dismay and unemployment to the ’30s. 



“With the frequent comings and goings of these friends and relatives, the Doty 
household experienced little ‘isolation.* Even when no visitors were about, the 
sense of companionship persisted, for in this ageless spot it was easy to conjure up a 
pageant of the past. What processions had rounded the foot of the island to swing 
their craft into Winnebago’s shallow waters: intrepid explorers, black-robed mis- 
sionaries, light-hearted voyageurs whose melodies lingered on the air long after they 
had passed from view, red men setting out for the hunt or on the grim business of 
war, soldiers flying the banners of France, of Britain, and of the United States. In 
that historic array Doty himself often appeared: in the Cass entourage, in Rolette’s 
fur brigade invested with the new dignity of Judge, on the gay picnic excursion with 
the Kinzies.” 

From Chapter 18 of Alice Elizabeth Smith’s biography 
of James Duane Doty , The State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin, Coypright 1954. 



ZN^otes 



JA Qote s 



J\(o te s 



THE 1(^30^ 



ve enter the ’30s, we instinctively revert to our initial ob- 
servation, as stated by Paul Vanderbilt in the Spring, 195- 
issue of Wisconsin Magazine of History: 



“The main objective is not so much the mere tracing 
backward of historical streams to their remote sources, as the induce- 
ment of a vision of the current history flowing toward us from the 



itage bequeathed by the 1920’s to the succeeding decade. Business 
was good during the third decade of the century, following a tempo- 
rary recession of 1920 and 21. The securities market mounted steadily, 
until in August of 1928, the head of a prominent investors’ service, 
writing in one of America’s well-known magazines, voiced among 
other things: 

“ . . . the belief that a long period of peace is in store for the civilized nations 
of the World.” 

Under the title, “A New Era in Wall Street,” he evaluated all of the 
factors then undergirding the nation’s financial structure, and, sum- 
ming up, reached this conclusion: 

“Naturally enough, forecasts made in 1923, which correctly foreshadowed what 
subsequently has happened in the security markets, would have been looked upon 
as fantastic by the average man; — any present forecast of the coming few years may 
also be looked upon as fantastic. Nevertheless, there seem to be many reasons for 
believing that the coming period may prove quite as stable and constructive in this 
country as have the past five years, if not more so. 

And though the prices of investment securities of standard quality look high to 
11s today, they easily may, by 1933, be quoted in many cases at far higher values.” 

The Hank Holiday 

What happened fourteen months later is common knowledge. From 




past.” 

How dramatically obvious this is as we visualize the economic her- 



109 



] io 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



late October, 1929, the securities market jiggered rapidly downward, 
until the 1930’s opened in an atmosphere of economic confusion. 

By 1932 we were at the bottom of the deepest depression of all time, 
and few there were who escaped injury. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was chosen President in November 1932, 
defeating Herbert Hoover. The months between election and inaugu- 
ration of the new president on Saturday, March 4, 1933, were filled with 
fear and apprehension. Mr. Roosevelt’s first official act on Monday 
morning, March 6, was declaration of the bank holiday. The morato- 
rium lasted seven days for Federal Reserve Banks. Banks throughout 
the nation, found to be in sound condition, reopened as soon thereafter 
as the federal survey could be completed. 

Neenah’s two National banks opened on Wednesday, March 15. 
The Neenah State Bank opened on a restricted basis, but later de- 
cided to liquidate. It is said with pride, however, that all depositors 
eventually received payment in full, stockholders recovered all special 
assessment leveled against them, and, in addition, were reimbursed 
for part, but not all, of their original investment. 

The nine days of the bank holiday were lived as in a vacuum. Like 
electric current and our city water, we come to take for granted the 
service of our banks. Not until the supply of currency was suddenly 
turned off did we fully realize the vital part that banks play in our day- 
to-day living. 

When a man couldn’t cash his pay check or secure money to buy 
food or a railway ticket, it brought home to citizens of that day how 
interdependent we are. 

Opening of the local banks on March 15 marked the return of faith 
and confidence in our banking system, and that faith has never wa- 
vered during the quarter century that has elapsed. 

The Tickards £ome to Town 

Again we note a beneficent by-product of a trying experience. It 
was during 1931, when the economic clouds were hanging low, that 
the Directors of the National Manufacturers’ Bank invited S. N. 
(Sam) Pickard, then with the First National Bank of Ripon, to associ- 



THE 1 9 30’S 



III 




These five outlived all of Neenah’s veterans of America’s Civil War. This historic photograph was, to 
the best of our information, taken in 1929 or 1930. First row, left to right: Joseph Faas and John Nagel. 
Standing: Robert Law, Thad Sheerin, Murray McCallum. 



ate himself with the local bank. He accepted as of January i, 1932, and 
moved his family to Neenah early in that year. Not only did Neenah 
gain an enterprising banker, but, in Mr. and Mrs. Pickard, there came 
into our midst two public-spirited citizens who have made their whole- 
some influence felt in many civic and church movements of our com- 
munity. Incidentally, under Mr. Pickard’s leadership, the deposits of 
the National Manufacturers’ Bank have grown from 11,592,744.02 on 
December 31, 1931, to $16,5 10,633.16 on December 31, 1957. 

Qombatting Unemployment 

Among the movements to alleviate unemployment in 1930, The 
Young Men’s Civic League was formed to assist recent high school 
graduates to find jobs. 

Also, an area survey was made to provide garden plots for the unem- 
ployed. 

Mayor Sande, who was in office from 1928 to 1933, surrounded him- 
self with an advisory group of citizens during these depression years. 



Ill 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



and it was during this period that a trained social worker, Clare 
Rejal, a citizen of Beloit, was recommended to us. He was engaged 
by the Citizens’ Committee to devote full time to the many social 
problems that were plaguing our lives during those trying years. 

The spring of 1932 saw a colorful campaign, when Helen K. Stuart 
ran for Mayor against George E. Sande. Mr. Sande won the election. 

A jQong Shadow 

In 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and thereby cast a 
long shadow across the world. This long shadow reached the Twin 
Cities when, on December 7, 1 94 1 , America was drawn into the world 
conflict. 

In that climactic year (1933) President Roosevelt demanded of Con- 
gress the repeal of the Volstead Act, which, of course, had its repercus- 
sion on local affairs. 

The disturbed political atmosphere of the time induced this nor- 
mally Republican state to elect a Democratic governor. One of Gov- 
ernor Schmedemann’s first acts was to cut his own salary 20%. 

'Business As Usual With Our Schools 

In times of national disturbance, it is refreshing to consider those 
aspects of community life that continue to move on in an orderly flow. 
Our schools are in that category. 

1930 ushered in The C u ^-> Neenah High School’s student publication. 

Also, the first of an endless succession of P.T.A. groups formed that 
year, in the Washington School, through the efforts of Mrs. Helen K. 
Stuart. 

Work on the High School Athletic Field began in 1931, and was 
completed the following year. This involved six tennis courts, track, 
football field, bleachers, and a general play area on the east half of thfe 
property. 

Toward the end of this decade the Neenah Teachers Association was 
formed, becoming a chapter of the Wisconsin Education Association. 

The %ocket , Neenah High’s yearbook, made its first appearance 
with the graduating class of 1937. 



THE 1 93 0’S 



II 3 




Bryan Seroogy, Postal Telegraph operator, 1930. 



SEeenah High to State Tournament 

Neenah High’s basketball team topped its district in 1930 and went 
on to the State Tournament at Madison. 

Radio was in its infancy in 1930. Few people had receivers. A group 
cf citizens raised funds to induce Bryan Seroogy, the Postal Telegraph 
operator, to follow the games and announce tournament progress over 
a public address system. The papers of that day report that up to 
2,000 people gathered to listen! 

1930 marked the origin of the Who’s New Club, of the YWCA, that 
has demonstrated its usefulness to newcomers across the years. 

In that year, too, there came into existence the Menasha Garden 
Club, and, in 1932, the Women’s Auxiliary to the Winnebago County 
Medical Society was organized. 

Economic ‘Recovery 

By 1936 courage and optimism had displaced fear, and the dollar 
was still worth one hundred cents, as indicated by 54 new homes 
built that year at an average cost of $3, 405.55. Building of all kinds 
that year totaled $315,515. 

And, in 1936, Gibson sold Chevrolet sedans, fully equipped, for $620! 



ii 4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



The industrial picture broadens during the 1930’s — 

The Edgewater Paper Company adds a creping machine to its 
equipment. 

Hoerning Concrete Products Company adds its services to the 
building trades. 

Harry F. Williams, who had made a good start with his School Sta- 
tioners Corporation in the Rosenthal Building, Menasha, built his 
modern plant north of the C&NW station. 

The Manhattan Rubber Company began its contribution to the 
paper industry, renting space in the Hewitt building on North Com- 
mercial Street, subsequently, in 1954, moving to its own modern 
quarters on Matthews and Cecil Street. 

The Atlas Tag Company also made its entrance in 1932. 

iA Faux Fas 

Neenah’s experience with shoe factories, never very satisfactory, 
suffered a second disappointment in the mid-3o’s. In September, 1935, 
two Milwaukee gentlemen came to town, and, in glowing terms, an- 
nounced their intention of establishing a shoe manufacturing business, 
provided the city could put at their disposal a suitable building. The 
unique feature of their proposal was that they claimed to have abun- 
dant capital. The property of the Kimlark Rug Company, which had 
recently discontinued operation, was offered. Neenah, along with the 
rest of America, was then recovering from the deepest depression of 
all time, and this unsolicited assist looked like a gift from the gods. 

The Vogel-Patton Shoe Company incorporated and went through 
the motions of making shoes. When the going got tough, the city ad- 
vanced $4,000 and certain gullible citizens did their part, whereupon 
the promoters closed up shop and disappeared. 

Following through in the commercial category: 

In 1933 Ben Schultz, and his son Francis, organized the Pure Ice 
& Coal Company. Twenty years later Francis B. Schultz took over 
the interests of his brothers and became sole owner. 

Haase & Drews, Inc., Men’s and Boys’ Retail Clothing and Furnish- 
ings — their predecessors were the Hanson Bros. (Hans R. and Mar- 
tin P.), who bought the property at 1 1 8 West Wisconsin Avenue in 
1898 and started the business that passed into the possession of Haase, 



THE 19 3 O’S 



115 

Klinke & Rhoades in 1931. Mr. Klinke died in 1943. In January, 1952, 
the store was moved to its present location at 1 4 1 West Wisconsin 
Avenue; presently the business is conducted by Haase & Drews, Inc., 
Mr. Rhoades having retired in January, 1955. 

In 1931 one of Neenah’s substantial insurance agencies opened its 
doors when E. L. Rickard entered the field, with E. E. Lampert as 
associate. 

To the consternation of local food dispensers, the first of the chain 
food stores made its appearance in 1930; the A&P came to town, locat- 
ing at 516 North Commercial Street. 

Krambo located a food store on East Wisconsin Avenue (1934). 

Russell and R. H. Kuehmstead opened a school supply company, 
now the Atlas Office and School Supply Company. 

Woolworth Chain Stores moved into the former Anspach build- 
ing- 

Larson Cleaners was established on South Commercial Street by 
Ed Nyman and Arthur Asmund. 

Hermene’s Gift Shop opened for business. 

The Pansy Nursery (1939) added its skills and services to our ex- 
panding city, taking up property on Neenah’s south border. 

The Galloways took over the Neenah Milk Products Company in 
1939 - 

In 1939 Lorinda and Helen Tews, dealers in ready-to-wear women’s 
and children’s garments, rented from the Kalfahs estate the store 
property at 1 10 West Wisconsin Avenue. After a complete renovation 
of the building, which for a half-century had been known as the 
Kalfahs Grocery, they combined their former stores, one at 226 West 
Wisconsin Avenue, a children’s shop on Commercial Street, and a 
branch store in Appleton. 

Winnebago Day School 

The Winnebago Day School, the brainchild of a group of Neenah, 
Menasha and Appleton parents, came into existence in a spacious 
carriage barn on the property of Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Shepard. This 
was in 1932. Later the school was moved into new quarters on 
Winnebago Avenue, Menasha. 

Neenah dentists, led by Dr. J. M. Donovan, sponsored the project 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



1 16 

of a Dental Hygienist for the school system in 1932. Later, the VNA 
gave their active support to this worthy cause, financing dentistry 
for children whose parents were unable to pay. This help was dis- 
continued in 1956, when Family Service took over. 

Moses Hooper T asses From the Earthly Scene 

We cannot pass the year (1932) without noting the passing of a 
truly great man who had much to do with Neenah’s earlier history. 
Although for many years an Oshkosh resident, he knew and had 
dealings with Governor James Duane Doty. He was attorney for the 
four young men who, in 1872, formed the partnership known as 
Kimberly, Clark & Company. At the age of 93 he tried a case before 
the U. S. Supreme Court. We refer to Moses Hooper, a wise, able and 
generous-hearted man, who was a benediction to all who knew him. 

Gardner T)am Site to ‘Boy Scouts 

Entering that climactic year of 1933 a golden lining to the dark 
clouds appeared when the Wisconsin Michigan Power Company, 
under the prompting of Manager Bill Schubert, gave the Gardner 
Dam Camp to the Valley Council of Boy Scouts. 

Also during this period the VNA Auxiliary was born. 

Qhurch Matters 

Reverend W. G. Wittenborn became the pastor of the Union Gospel 
Tabernacle, occupying the church edifice on the corner of Isabella 
and Caroline Streets, formerly the property of the Norwegian Metho- 
dists. This was in 1931. Mr. Wittenborn served for nine years, during 
which the name was changed to First Fundamental. 

In 1933 the beautiful new edifice of the St. Margaret Mary congre- 
gation, on Division Street, was completed. The first mass was cele- 
brated in the new church on Easter Sunday of that year. Prior to 
completion of St. Margaret Mary Church, Neenah residents of the 
Catholic faith were served by St. Patrick’s Church and school. Since 
that time Catholic residents of the island remain with the St. Patrick’s 
congregation, while St. Margaret Mary claims all south of the 
Neenah river channel. 



THE 19 3 O’S 



n 7 

In 1 936 Reverend Samuel H. Roth came to St. Paul’s Lutheran 
Church. As these lines are written, he brings to a close a successful 
pastorate of twenty-one years. 

The following year a disastrous fire destroyed the Methodist 
Church, opposite the City Hall. The vitality of this congregation was 
demonstrated in their prompt rebuilding, dedicating their new struc- 
ture in 1939. 

The Assembly of God, Pentecostal, organized a congregation in 
1937, meeting in homes until 1939, when the former Scandinavian 
Lutheran Church, at 502 South Commercial Street, was purchased. 

Finally, the first Girl Scout Troop in the Twin Cities was organized 
by St. Thomas Episcopal Church in 1938. 

Neenah' s Sewer & Water Systems 

The decade of the ’30s will always be remembered for the advances 
made in the realm of public utilities. The city’s several separate sewer 
districts were, in 1935, consolidated into one municipal system. Two 
years later, Neenah and Menasha joined in building the sewage 
disposal plant on the west tip of the island. Prior to this time an in- 
creasing volume of raw sewage from our Twin Cities poured into 
Little Lake Butte des Morts and the Fox River from which Appleton 
derived water for its city system. 

Of still greater significance was the campaign, stretching over 
four years, for a modern water system to displace the unusable water 
from Neenah ’s deep wells. 

A referendum in 1932, without too much mental preparation, re- 
sulted in an overwhelming vote against a surface supply. The idea 
was deeply rooted that only from the deep earth could pure water be 
produced. This strongly negative reaction said but one thing to 
proponenents of a soft water supply, viz: — the need of a public dem- 
onstration of what could be done with Lake Winnebago water. 
Accordingly, with the help of chemical engineers from Neenah’s 
industries, a gaily-painted experimental water plant was built on 
land loaned by the Wieckert Lumber Company. Water from the power 
canal was filtered, purified and softened before the eyes of the passing 
public and delivered in glass containers to all parts of town with 



1 1 8 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



invitation to drink it, cook with it and wash in it! Aided by space in 
the daily press, a running hre of comment and testimony was con- 
tinued up to the election in April, 1936, when a second referendum 
carried 4 to 1 , every ward voting favorably. 

No single factor has contributed so much to Neenah’s subsequent 
growth. This story is told more completely in Part II. 

The Job of Assessor 

The production of nearly two million dollars in tax revenue demands 
elements of judgment and fairness that make the job of assessor one 
of the most significant in our whole governmental system. The as- 
sessor’s task is a difficult one. It involves becoming familiar with the 
market value of all kinds of property, both real and personal, and 
applying the standard of prices thus obtained to the innumerable 
items and variety of properties he is called upon to assess. When one 
looks about his own neighborhood and reflects upon the complexity 
of the assessor’s work in that small area, and then considers the city 
as a whole, he then realizes the complexity of the job of equitable 
treatment as between taxpayers. 

As one studies Neenah’s history down through the years subsequent 
to her emergence from village status, it is apparent that no backward 
step has been taken in fair and equitable taxation. 

To John Blenker, Neenah’s first full-time assessor, goes the credit 
for laying a firm foundation in this important area of municipal life. 
John took over on April 25, 1936, and retired October 7, 1955. 

Tarks 

During the late ’20s and early ’30s, the Park Board employed an 
eminent landscape architect, Phelps Wyman, to survey Neenah’s 
parks. Among his projects was redesign of Riverside Park, moving 
the drive from its former position along the waterfront to its present 
attractive layout. Mr. Wyman visualized anew park pavilion, facing 
the setting sun, situated on the shore side of the deep curve of the 
drive. As so often happens, a new board, working from the same set 
of facts, came up with a different conclusion, as noted in the sketch 
of the 1950’s. 



THE 193 O’S 



”9 

Another project delegated to Mr. Wyman was design of Washington 
Park. It was in 1931 that Mrs. 1 ). W. (Sara) Bergstrom, seeing the 
need of a park in the fourth ward, purchased and deeded to the city 
for that purpose, most of the real estate now embodied in Washington 
Park. 

During 1931, also, the triangular shaped parcel of land, known as 
the Water Street Park, was dedicated, with concrete retaining wall 
and fence. 

In the same year the first of many Pet & Hobby Shows was staged 
in Riverside Park, with Otis Hayes the moving spirit. 



Build thee more stately mansions , 0 my soul. 

As the swift seasons roll ! 

Leave thy low-vaulted past! 

Let each new temple, nobler than the last 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 

Till thou at length art free. 

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea! 

Oliver Wendell Holmes 



^ o te s 



,7^o t e s 



JA (otes 



THE I<pzJ.O’S 

b\’ CHARLOTTE MclNTYRE 



“ Tear l Harbor" 

N eenah families had been to churches in the morning, had 
finished dinner, and were quietly reading the Sunday 
papers, when voices interrupted every radio program 
throughout the country with the news which was to 
change the lives and activities of everyone for nearly four years. The 
day was December 7, 1 94 1 . 

Company I, local unit of the Wisconsin National Guard, which had 
left in October of 1940 for what was to be a year’s training, was at 
Camp Beauregard and Camp Livingstone, Louisiana. Some of the 
original members had been transferred to other units. Less than five 
months from that December 7, they were in a long gray convoy of 
ships that slipped out of California ports onto the Pacific, off to war 
against the Japanese. A short sixteen months before these men had 
been playing football, basketball, softball, swimming in the new pool, 
sailing on Lake Winnebago, drinking cokes at the corner drug store. 
By Thanksgiving of 1942 they would be learning jungle fighting the 
hard way, against experienced Japanese jungle fighters. But they 
were to push on until they recaptured the Philippines. 

Other Neenah men already in Service through the Selective Service 
Act, which had come into existence in 1940, found their training now 
stepped up. It was in earnest, and many were to see service in the 
F.uropean theater of operations on sea, land and in the air in the 
fight against the Nazis. 

Nearly 1,700 Neenah men saw service throughout the years of the 
war. Some were prisoners of war in both theaters of operations; some 
were to give their lives. 



123 



124 



A HISTORY OF NliENAH 



‘Dawn of the « Atomic zAge 

A great second World War, the dawn of the atomic age, and the 
beginnings of post-war expansion in industry, business and residential 
building marked the decade of the Forties. 

Civilian defense organizations came into existence during the 
1940’s, but did not gain full acceleration until after Pearl Harbor. 

The first peacetime draft in the history of America affected Neenah 
residents and their families, as the Winnebago County Selective 
Service Board No. 3, with offices in the Menasha Post Office, came 
into existence in 1940. The first registration of men between the ages 
of 21 and 35 was held October 16, 1940. There were 3,907 men 
registered at that time, representing Neenah, Menasha and seven 
area townships which made up the No. 3 Board. The following sum- 
mer the second registration was held, and in February of 1942 the 
third, which also included men between 36 and 45. Service on this 
board was never a pleasant duty. Members, and particularly Arthur 
Ritger, as Chairman, never received the appreciation they deserved 
for their self-sacrificing devotion to their task. 

"Rationing 

Ration boards came into existence as gasoline, tires, sugar, fuel oil, 
cars, stoves, shoes, bicycles, rubber boots, meat and canned goods 
began to be part of the great national conservation program for the 
emergency. Every family had ration books. The rationing was a big 
task, and the men who directed the early formation of a board to 
handle this work included Elmer Radtke, Harry Korotev, Carl 
Gerhardt, Fred Wright, Charles Sommers, C. F. Hedges, E. E. Jan- 
drey, William Clifford and J. C. Fritzen. As the program broadened, 
hundreds more citizens volunteered for the work. The first offices were 
in the Boys’ Brigade building, then moved into larger quarters in the 
Weinke building on East Wisconsin Avenue. The school teachers and 
hundreds of housewives voluntarily gave their services during heavy 
registrations or at times when they were needed as additional food 
allotments were issued. Tires were rationed before the end of 1941, 



THE 19 4 0’S 



125 



gasoline, canned goods and coffee were rationed in 1942, shoes in 
early 1943, to mention a few. 

Building was curtailed, and Neenah, along with its sister city of 
Menasha, was among the first to operate under the rent freeze in 
April of 1942. 

Scrap Drives 

Because rubber, waste paper, scrap tin and metal were critical 
items of war production, scrap drives were organized by salvage com- 
mittees, aided by Boy Scouts and Boys’ Brigaders. Chairmen during 
the war years included Paul Stacker, Lawrence Kitchin, Ferd Diester- 
haupt and Edward Stelow. 

War J^oans 

A War Finance Committee was set up to supervise the war loan 
drives for the United States Treasury. Directing the work of the seven 
campaigns, during which over $20 million in war bonds was invested, 
were F. J. Sensenbrenner, D. L. Kimberly, N. H. Bergstrom, D. K. 
Brown, Norton Williams, J. Russell Ward, S. N. Pickard, A. C. 
Gilbert, S. F. Shattuck, A. W. Andersen and C. B. Clark. 

%ed £ross Drives 

Neenah Chapter of the American Red Cross began its war fund 
campaigns, which opened with an emergency call after the Pearl 
Harbor attack on December 7. Hundreds of residents served as 
volunteer workers. The chapter also provided other services, enlisting 
the aid of hundreds of homemakers. A month after Pearl Harbor, for 
example, an emergency quota of sweaters and helmets for Navy men 
had to be filled. The knitting and sewing programs were accelerated 
in the months that followed. 

Home nursing courses were set up, canteen units formed blood 
banks organized to provide blood plasma for the soldiers; there were 
special home service activities to aid the families of men in the 
service. 



n6 



A II I S T ORV OF N E E N A II 



As registered nurses were called into service by their country, 
civilian nurse shortages developed. To offset this locally, Theda Clark 
Memorial Hospital began the training of Nurses’ Aides, with Miss 
Esther Klingman as Director of this division of the war emergency 
program. Over 137 young women were trained to give volunteer 
service at the hospital. Men, too, volunteered to relieve the critical 
nursing shortage, and Miss Klingman conducted a class for these men, 
who became volunteer orderlies, averaging many hours of volunteer 
service each month. 

Twin City young women joined the armed services, too, as the 
country called on its young women to help, thereby relieving stateside 
servicemen for more important jobs at home and abroad. More than 
100 young women went into the WACS, the WAVES, SPARS and 
Marine Corps Reserve. 

Industry Converted to War 

Neenah industry went to war, too. Ration packages, munitions 
cartons, bags for powder and concentrates, packaging for dehydrated 
foods, protective properties for medical and drug supplies, heat sealed 
bags, laminated cellophane, machine rubber stocks and shafts for 
cargo ships and PT boats, castings for machine tools, gear shift mecha- 
nisms for reversing drives on LST landing ships and tanks, map 
papers, camouflage papers, raincoats, gun mounts, fuses were among 
the articles made by Neenah employees in industries that joined the 
fight. Some companies made hydraulic cylinders, pilot valves, shell 
casings, 37 MM armor piercing shells used in P-38 fighting ships; 
bronze machine tool castings and bronze condenser castings for de- 
stroyer escort ships, bomber brake linings, filter waste used in oil 
filters on tanks, jeeps and naval vessels. The tags on machine guns, 
paper on which important letters and orders were written, woods 
used in airplanes, cargo ship doors and war housing — all were part of 
the war work turned out locally. 

The zArmy-IHavy “ £" 

It was on the morning of August 29, 1943, that D. K. Brown, 
President of Neenah Paper Company, opened the following letter: 



THE 1 9 4 O’S 



I2 7 



WAR DEPARTMENT 
OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY 
WASHINGTON, D. C. 

AUGUST 28, 1943 

TO THE MEN AND WOMEN 
OF THE NEENAH PAPER COMPANY 
NEENAH, WISCONSIN 

THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT THE ARMY AND NAVY ARE 
CONFERRING UPON YOU THE ARMY-NAVY PRODUCTION AWARD 
FOR GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE PRODUCTION OF 
MATERIALS NEEDED BY OUR ARMED FORCES. 

THIS AWARD SYMBOLIZES YOUR COUNTRY’S APPRECIATION 
OF THE ACHIEVEMENT OF EVERY MAN AND WOMAN IN THE 
NEENAH PAPER COMPANY. IT CONSISTS OF A FLAG TO BE 
FLOWN ABOVE YOUR PLANT AND A LAPEL PIN WHICH EACH 
OF YOU MAY WEAR AS A SIGN OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE 
TO YOUR COUNTRY. 

I AM CONFIDENT THAT YOUR OUTSTANDING RECORD WILL 
BRING VICTORY NEARER BY INSPIRING OTHERS TO SIMILAR 
HIGH ACHIEVEMENT. 

SINCERELY YOURS, 

(signed) 

ROBERT P. PATTERSON 
UNDER SECRETARY OF WAR 



Then came the big day, September 25, 1943, when, amid all the 
pomp and circumstance that could be assembled, Brigadier General 
J. E. Barzynski made the award to employees and management of the 
company- an unforgettable occasion, in which the whole community 
shared, vicariously. Subsequently two additional awards came to 
Neenah Paper Company. 

Kjmberly-Qlark Organizes zAn Ordnance 'Department 

During the early months of 1942 there emerged a new invention 
that was destined to play an important part in America’s war poten- 



128 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




tial. A self-propelled AA gun mount, designed by W. L. Maxson 
Corporation, of New York City, had demonstrated its virtues at the 
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, whereupon the Army pressed for pro- 
duction. The Ordnance Department of the Army, being familiar with 
the reservoir of skills in Kimberly-Clark’s Engineering Department, 
chose the local company as one of two organizations to whom were 
awarded prime contracts for the manufacture of this significant piece 
of war equipment. The Kimlark building, thqn housing machinery for 
making wallpaper, was hastily transformed into an ordnance assembly 
plant, tying in more than 120 subcontractors in five states. This 
transformation from paper to guns was referred to as one of America’s 
most dramatic turnovers from peacetime manufacture to production 
ofjmaterials for war. 

It was on May 28, 1942, that C. W. Nelson, Chief of Kimberly- 
Clark’s Engineering Department, first saw this complex mechanism. 
Eight months later, January, 1943, the remodeled plant went into 
operation. More than 1,900 parts of this gun turret were produced 



D. K. Brown, President of Neenah Paper Company, receives Army-Navy “E” on behalf of employees 
and management, September 25, 1943. 




THE 1 94 0’S 



129 




Kimberly-Clark Corporation receives the Army-Navy “E,” Tuesday, June 20, 1944. Ernst Mahler is 
seen responding to the presentation. 



under Kimberly-Clark supervision in many plants throughout the 
midwest area. Allowed tolerances for parts was so close (3/10,000 
inch) that the finest quality gauges used by subcontractors had to be 
continuously checked with master gauges at Kimberly-Clark labora- 
tories in Neenah. 

On May 18, 1944, the Ordnance Division of the Corporation was 
presented with the Ordnance Banner, and on the afternoon of 
Tuesday, June 20, in a colorful out-of-door ceremony, the Army- 
Navy “E” was presented to employees of the Ordnance Division of 
Kimberly-Clark Corporation by General Albert J. Browning in the 
name of the Under Secretary of War. 

Hawley-T)ieckhoff Tost 

The Neenah and the Menasha American Legion Posts changed 
their names to forever honor the memory of the two Neenah-Menasha 
young men who died in the Japanese bombing of the fleet at Pearl 




130 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Harbor. The Neenah post changed its name to Hawley-Dieckhoft 
Post for Douglas Dieckhoff who was on the Utah that morning; the 
Menasha post changed the name of its unit to Lenz-Gazecki in mem- 
ory of Robert Gazecki who died on the ^Arizona. 

More than 38 other young men were to die before the war ended, 
in the Pacific, in Alaska, in the skies over Europe, in Italy and on the 
beaches of Normandy. 

V 8 and VJ T>ays 

VE Day, or the end of the war in Europe, came Tuesday, May 8, 
1945, and three months later, VJ day, the end of the war in Japan, 
came August 14. Neenah prepared to welcome its veterans of World 
W ar II home, while its industry began the task of returning to peace- 
time pursuits again. 

Chamber of Commerce 

In 1940 Neenah formed a Chamber of Commerce of merchants and 
businessmen, with Otto Eieber as the first President. Within this 
group was to be set up a post-war planning group, following freezing 
of all building and expansion during the war years. 

Edwin A. Kalfahs was Mayor of the city of Neenah in 1940, and 
was to continue in that post until he retired in 1949. 1940 also saw the 
appointment of Irving Stilp as Chief of Police, a post which he holds 
today. 

, 7 few Swimming Tool 

The summer of 1940 saw Neenah youngsters and even the adults 
take their first swim in the new Neenah swimming pool and look over 
the recreation building facilities on South Park Avenue. It had been 
made possible by generous gifts of land and money to the city from 
C. B. Clark and S. F. Shattuck. Within two years, on August 14, 15 
and 16, the Women’s National A.A.U. Outdoor Swimming and Diving 
Championships were held in the Olympic-size pool. More than $1,000 
in net proceeds from the championships was turned over to Navy 
Relief. This outstanding event was brought to Neenah under the 
auspices of the Chamber of Commerce. Officers and Directors of the 



THE 1 94 0 ’S 




The Women’s National A.A.U. Outdoor Swim- 
ming and Diving Championships were held in 
Neenah’s new pool August 14-16, 1942. Mayor 
Edwin Kalfahs is seen awarding prizes to a win- 
ner. 




Neenah’s Olympic-size pool completed in 1940. 




132 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Chamber at that time were: President, Walter Werner; ist Vice 
President, S. N. Pickard; 2nd Vice President, Rudolph Lotz; Secre- 
tary, Don Colburn; Treasurer, Elmer Schultheis; Directors: Clark 
Harris, Gus Kalfahs, S. K. Shattuck, Ed Christoph, Alvin Schmutz, 
Otto I.ieber, Vern Snyder, M. W. Schalk, and Robert Brooks. 

Community Council 

The first meeting of the Council of Social Agencies was held in 
Neenah in 1940, organized to educate and to promote sound health 
and welfare projects for the betterment of the citizens of the com- 
munity. It became a Community Chest agency in 1951, and two 
years later changed its name to Neenah-Menasha Community 
Council. 

Significant Advances 

Neenah employees were going to work at the new offices and carton 
factory addition of Marathon Corporation on River Street, Menasha. 

The same year the h irst Evangelical Church, on the corner of Bond 
Street and West Forest Avenue, was remodeled and an addition built, 
so that the parish was able to dedicate a “new” church upon comple- 
tion of the work. 'This church, in 1946, was to change its name to 
First Fivangelical United Brethren Church, as the Evangelical and 
United Brethren churches united. 

Among the highlights of 1941 were the purchase of the assets of the 
Whitmore Machine and Foundry Company by the Marathon Cor- 
poration, and the establishment of it as the company’s machine 
division; the liquidation of the debt of St. Margaret Mary Catholic 
Church, Division Street, Neenah; the completion of the laboratory 
building and water plant of the Bergstrom Paper Company, of 
Neenah; the organization of Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran 
Church, on the northwest side of Neenah, as a mission church of 
Trinity Lutheran Church, located on Oak Street. 

Industrial Expansion 

'There was some wartime industrial expansion, made possible be- 
cause it contributed to the war effort. 'The J. W. Hewitt Machine 



THE 194 O’S 



1 33 



Company expanded its building, added new roll grinding equipment 
and special machine tools. The Banta Publishing Company, of 
Menasha, put some of its Neenah employees into jobs in the new 
Midway Plant, built between Menasha and Appleton. 

It was to be several years later however that the real industrial 
expansion and building boom would get underway, and it did with 
the end of the war. 'Phis industrial development also was to help pro- 
vide jobs for the veterans returning from the war and eager to resume 
their place in normal civilian life. 

Neenah Paper Company built a $90,000 addition to its plant on 
North Commercial Street. 

Lakeview Mill of Kimberly-Clark added a huge warehouse. 

Neenah Milk Products started additions. 

Atlas Tag added a new office unit and undertook extensive re- 
modeling. 

Bergstrom Paper was working on a new addition, and extensive 
alterations. 

Neenah Foundry, too, completed a new addition and remodeled its 
office. 

Theda Clark hospital’s large addition and alterations to the exist- 
ing building and its heating unit were to make the hospital almost a 
completely new unit. 

Kimberly-Clark remodeled its Kimlark plant, now done with its 
war contracts, into an engineering center and field service machine 
shops, while it converted its old Neenah Mill, at the rear of its main 
office, into a Research Center. 

One disaster must, regretfully, be noted in 1945: viz., an explosion 
in the power plant of the Bergstrom Paper Company that took one 
life and required extensive replacements. 

Kjmberly-Qlark Expands 

Some Neenah engineers of Kimberly-Clark Corporation were build- 
ing a new community, Terrace Bay, Ontario, and a huge pulp mill on 
the north shore of Lake Superior, in Canada, to be known as the 
LongLac Pulp and Paper Company, Limited. Others were going to 



134 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Balfour, North Carolina, where the company had purchased a cotton 
textile mill for the manufacture of gauze for one of its sanitary prod- 
ucts. Still others were traveling to another southern state, as Kim- 
berly-Clark agreed to build and manage a new newsprint mill for a 
group of southern publishers, to be known as Coosa River Newsprint 
Company, at Coosa Pines, Alabama. 

1 "Bergstrom Keeps (growing 

During the post-war years of the 1940’s, Bergstrom Paper Com- 
pany rebuilt its paper machines and added a hydrapulper addition 
to its plant, as well as announced plans to build a warehouse and 
finishing plant on Highway 41 in the township of Neenah. 

The ‘Dial System 

The Wisconsin Telephone Company installed the dial system in 
Neenah, along with other cities in the Fox River Valley. 

The Churches Keep Dace 

Neenah members of the churches were busy with their expansion 
plans, too. St. Paul’s English Lutheran parish organized the St. 
Timothy Lutheran congregation in Menasha. Martin Luther Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church completed its church structure on Adams 
Street (this building now is used as a school since the construction of 
a permanent church in 1955-56). Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church 
built its church near Cecil Street, in the First Ward; and the Metho- 
dist Church observed its centennial under the direction of its pastor, 
the Reverend Roy Steen. 

And, in 1945, the women of Neenah and Menasha joined together 
in the Council of Church Women, later named United Church Women, 
affiliating with the national organization. 

ih[eenah Broadens Its Commercial C ase 

The 1940’s saw activity among the business places of the city, also. 
The Larson & Schreiter Furniture Company was organized by two 



THE 1 9 4 O’S 



135 



young men who had had experience as employees of furniture com- 
panies. They opened their first store in 1940, and the following year 
moved into a new building about a block away, on North Commercial 
Street. 

Schultz Brothers’ Variety Store opened its doors in 1 94 1 . 

Kramer Motors established its business the same year. 

Postal Telegraph merged with Western Union in 1943. 

Pantton’s Apparel Store opened in 1944. 

The Schultz Paint Store was established in 1945, in the location 
where Charles Sorenson had an upholstery business some Bo years 
before. 

Lawrence K. Lambert set up a business in orthopedic appliances. 

The Farleys took over the grocery store at 205 Spruce Street in 
1946, formerly operated by Knutsons. 

Burts’ Candies, oldest manufacturing confectionery unit in Neenah, 
changed ownership in 1949, when William Burtsuklis sold to T. Perry 
Burtsuklis. 

Lear Cosgrove, a veteran of the Air Force, opened a photographic 
studio, which later was purchased by Bud Hjerstedt, and now is 
known as the Munroe Studio. He was to move his studio to North 
Commercial Street in the fall of 1957. 

Western Tire and Auto Store, Raisler’s Home Equipment Store, 
the M. E. Manier Insurance Agency, the F. M. Sign Company, 
Winnebago Sporting Goods Company, Gene’s Bake Shop, Kuehl’s 
Food Company, Lintner Wholesale Foods, Rock Finance Company, 
R&R Yarn Shop, were all to become known in the business sections 
of the cities during the late 1940’s. 

The Thorp Finance Company joined the business places of the 
city in 1949, purchasing the Neenah-Menasha Finance Company on 
North Commercial Street at Canal Street. 

Lyall Williams and Associates purchased land and buildings of the 
old Bergstrom Foundry, on Main Street, anti remodeled a portion of 
it for the Valley Supply Corp. 

Valley Press, a printing concern, moved into its own building on 
Chapman Avenue. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



136 

Industrial Scrap and Salvage — J. Stone & Son 

In 1942 J. and Abe J. Stone purchased the property at 235 Main 
Street from Sam Pesitsky, who bought it from Mike Zizo and Jim 
John. Zizo and John were Serbians, who starred the junk yard in the 
early ’20s, when it was located at 204 Main Street. 

Jake Stone came to Neenah in 1911 from Paris, where he was for 
four years after fleeing from Russia. Arriving in Neenah, he borrowed 
$50 from Jim Courtney and Bill Nudick and started the junk business, 
with working capital consisting of an old horse and wagon. Abe 
entered the business in 1928, after graduation from Neenah High 
School. Not only have they made a financial success of their business, 
but Abe, purchasing the former Greenwood property adjoining the 
Oak Street bridge, built an attractive home on the north end of the 
lot, overlooking the river. 

The "Banks 

There were changes in the financial institutions also during the 
decade. F. E. Ballister retired in 1944 as President of the First 
National Bank of Neenah, after 56 years of association with the 
banking institution. He was replaced by J. Russell Ward. In Mr. 
Ward, Neenah acquired not only a banker whose training had been 
in the Harris Trust & Savings Bank of Chicago, but a civic-minded 
citizen whose influence has been felt in many enterprises of the com- 
munity. Two years later this bank increased its capital to $300,000, 
and then, in 1949, underwent extensive remodeling, having its open 
house in December of 1949. 

The same year that the war ended, the National Manufacturers’ 
Bank of Neenah increased its capital and surplus to $500,000, and a 
year later established a Trust Department. It, too, had plans for ex- 
tensive interior remodeling, which eventuated in a new structure to 
house its Trust Department on the adjoining lot to the east. 

Qivic 

Within the city governmental activity during the decade, R. V’. 
Hauser was named City Clerk to replace the late Harry S. Zemlock; 





Typical Neenah homes built during the 40’s and 50’s. 



137 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



138 

the Council accepted funds from James C. Kimberly for the construc- 
tion of a lighthouse and comfort station at Kimberly Point Park; a 
softball park with lights was developed south of the Recreation 
Building on South Park Avenue. 

The Council voted to build a replica of the Doty Cabin (the 
original cabin, the home of the second territorial governor of Wiscon- 
sin, had fallen into decay and was beyond repair). The replica is now a 
museum, under the direction of Harvey R. Teaman. 

The Council approved adding fluoride to the city water, following 
efforts of Neenah dentists who promoted the project as a safeguard 
of the teeth of the city’s children. 

The Wilson Elementary School was built on Higgins Avenue, in the 
First Ward, in 1949 (and a new addition completed in 195a). 

Speech correction work was inaugurated in the Neenah Schools in 
! 947 - 

(golden zAgers Cuter the Ticture 

The Recreation Department of the city began planning for an or- 
ganization of the older citizens to be known as the Golden Age Club, 
— to have its first meeting early in 1950. 

The Neenah-Menasha Broadcasting Company was organized in the 
late 1940’s, and the first program went on the air in 1947. The studio 
was located in the basement of the National Manufacturers’ Bank for 
a number of years. 

Community Chest — Another Twin City Venture 

1947 also saw the organization of a Neenah-Menasha Community 
Chest to bring together under one fund campaign all welfare, health, 
recreation and youth organization drives. 

The Neenah-Menasha Girl Scout Council merged with Appleton in 
1946, and the Kaukauna and Kimberly units came in a year later, 
with the organization now known as the Fox River Area Girl Scout 
Council. 

I’he Teague of Women Voters was reorganized in 1947, and later 
became the Neenah-Menasha unit. In 1948 the Hubbard-Peterson 
Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and its auxiliary were organized; and, 



THE 19 4 O’S 



139 



two years later, the Welfare Circle of the King’s Daughters, the 
Zonta Club (a service club for professional women), and Job’s 
Daughters, Bethel No. 57, were added to the organizations in the city. 

The Oak Street Bridge 

The 1940’s, following the war, saw a startling increase in auto 
ownership. With nine rail crossings on the Commercial-Washington 
Street highway between the twin cities, it sometimes took thirty 
minutes to go the mile between the two business districts. Relief came 
in 1949, when Neenah dedicated its Oak Street bridge. 



It was fifty years ago , 

In the pleasant month of May , 

In the beautiful Pays de V and 
A child in its cradle lay . 

And nature , the old nurse , took 
The child upon her knee y 
Saying: “Here is a story-book 
Thy Father has written for thee.” 

“Come wander with me,” she said , 
“Into regions yet untrod ; 

And 7'ead what is still unread 
In the manuscripts of God.” 
Longfellow 



JA (otes 



y^otes 



JA (j)te s 



THE I^^O’S 



I t is difficult, if not impossible, for us who live in the sixth 
decade of the aoth century to view it in perspective. Current 
history is making as we write. We have the feeling of being 
swept into the future by powerful currents flowing to us out of 
the past. Growth in every phase of community life during the ’50s 
dwarfed the expansion of any previous era. The city burst its bounds 
to the south and west. New subdivisions and new homes sprang up 
as if by magic. New churches came into being, and schools so modern 
and attractive that oldsters wished they could revert to childhood. 
More streets, more sewer and water lines — the city’s budget and 
bonded indebtedness bulged. Shopping centers in the outskirts sprang 
up, competing with shops in the inner city; parking meters helped, but 
didn’t solve, the parking problem. All branches of sport leaped 
ahead, and industry, paced by Marathon, Kimberly-Clark, Neenah 
Foundry and Bergstroms, added new strength to Neenah’s economic 
foundations and to the earning power of Twin City residents. 

The mounting volume of Council business was relieved, in part, by 
putting the office of Mayor on a full-time basis at the spring elections 
of 1957. And to promote fairer, and more workable, representation on 
the Common Council, the city was divided into ten wards, with one 
representative from each ward. 

Significant Industrial, Social and ‘Professional Movement 

Bergstrom paper company expands. Early in this decade the Berg- 
strom Paper Company embarked upon a long-swing program of 
waste disposal destined to add many acres to Neenah’s park system 
through fill along the south end of Little Lake Butte des Morts. 

For some years this company, hemmed in at its downtown location, 



143 



t 4 4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



contemplated expansion in the township of Neenah, and had, far- 
sightedly, purchased acreage west of Highway 41. During 1955 a new 
finishing plant was begun on this property, which came into operation 
the following year. In 1956 ground was broken for a new office struc- 
ture east of the finishing plant, which was completed and occupied in 
1957 - 

The Jersild Knitting Company moved into its new building on 
First Street. 

The Manhattan Rubber Company, having outgrown its quarters 
in the Hewitt building, built its new plant on Cecil and Matthews 
Streets. 

A new office for Edgewater Paper Company (’52). 

Warehouse on Forest Avenue built by School Stationers Corpora- 
tion (’52). 

Neenah Electrotype Corporation purchased its plant from Mara- 
thon (’53). 

Entire interior of Hewitt Machine Company remodeled to ac- 
commodate a new Farrell roll grinder and to give space to the Stowe- 
Woodward Company (’54). 

Gilbert Paper Company rebuilt and enlarged its #3 machine (’54). 

Wisconsin Tissue Mills rebuilt its paper machine and replaced its 
converting and storage buildings with a new structure (’56). 

After ten years with the architectural firm of O’Connor & Kilham 
of New York city, Frank C. Shattuck returned to his home town 
during the summer of 1953 and opened an office at 174 East North 
Water Street, under the caption Frank C. Shattuck Associates, Inc. 
Associated with him in this venture is Melvin F. Siewert. The firm 
has specialized in the design of college, church, residential and indus- 
trial building. 

This decade of expansion in every phase of community life was 
further punctuated by the Council of Social Agencies becoming a 
member of the Community Chest (’51) and in 1953 broadening its 
name to Neenah-Menasha Community Council. 

The Optimist Club is added to the roster of Twin City service and 
luncheon organizations. 



THE 195 O’S 



145 



Among the commercial and professional newcomers during this 
decade were: 

J. J. Keller & Associates (’50) 

Fritz’s Barber Shop (’50) 

Mace Laboratories, Inc. (’50) 

Don-F,l Beauty Salon (’51) 

Corr Opticians (’51) 

Jon’s Shoes (’51) 

Oberreich’s Camera & Card Shop (’53) 

(formerly Sutter Camera Co.) 

Di Renzo & Bomier, Law & Accounting (’53) 

Sentry Foodliner (’53) 

Schmidt Drug Store (’53) 

Jeffrey’s Apparel Shop (’55) 

Red Owl Store on South Commercial (’57) 

New home for vna. Mr. J. C. Kimberly, acting for the Kimberly 
family, deeded the former residence property of Helen K. Stuart, on 
East Wisconsin Avenue, to the Visiting Nurse Association for their 
headquarters. Not only that, an endowment fund of $100,000 came 
with the gift (’56). 

Marathon expands into Neenah. In 1953 this company acquired 
the Jersild Knitting Company building on North Commercial Street 
for occupancy by its engineers, and, as these lines are written, they 
have under lease the former Red Owl quarters next door for engineer- 
ing and clerical overflow. 

Needing a guest house, the large H. S. Smith residence on East 
Forest Avenue was purchased in 1951, and since has been used to 
capacity. 

Coming into 1952 the corporation’s new engraving plant on Western 
Avenue began operation. The following year ground was broken for 
the Neenah flexible packaging plant, now in production. This plant 
was constructed on a ten-acre tract south of Cecil Street, which had 
recently been purchased and annexed by the city of Neenah for indus- 
trial purposes. 

As we move to the close of 1957, the corporation’s new general 
offices on Neen all’s south rim nears completion. 

Finally, on December 3, 1957, stockholders of Marathon Corpora- 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



1 46 

tion and American Can Company voted to merge through an inter- 
change of common stock. Thus Marathon becomes a division of 
Canco. The Marathon Company, already a dominant factor in the 
food container field, supplements the extensive activities of Canco. 
which operates more than 100 plants throughout the free world. 

Kimberly-Clark steps up the tempo. In 1951 the Munising Mill 
was purchased. Leadership was chosen from local young men who 
had grown up with the corporation — notably Bill Fieweger and 
Bill Beerman. 

Early in this decade, also, a new plant making absorbent products, 
such as Kleenex and Kotex, came into production at Fullerton, Cali- 
fornia — and, still later, there nears completion at New Milford, 
Connecticut, a duplicate of the southern California plant. 

In 1951, K-C opened its Sales Promotion Center, located in the 
township of Menasha. This ingenious enterprise embodies all known 
visual and auditory aids designed to make the art of salesmanship 
pleasant and effective. 

The following year its motel-type guest house north of its Lakeview 
Mill became ready for occupancy. 

I-C-C • C om P an y Moves to Neenah 

The International Cellucotton Products Company, a sales organi- 
zation marketing Kimberly-Clark’s absorbent products, such as 
Kleenex and Kotex, with headquarters in Chicago, was integrated 
with the parent company in 1955, and the following year its personnel 
was moved to the Neenah area. This move coincided with the comple- 
tion of Kimberly-Clark’s new office north of the Lakeview Mill in 
Menasha township. This influx of people from the city was a major 
factor in Neenah’s expansion during this decade. 

Fox Valley's Jpargest Moving Operation 

It will be remembered that the largest moving operation ever to 
take place in this Fox Valley occurred over the Labor Day weekend 
of 1956, when all furniture and equipment from the old Kimberly- 
Clark offices fronting on North Commercial Street were transplanted 



THE 19 5 O’S 



1 47 




A picturesque view of a portion of Kimberly-Clark’s modernistic General Offices, taken from the east 
bank of the man-made lake, the water from which is used by the air conditioning system. This new 
structure is located in the township of Menasha (photo by Bill Hedrich, Hedrich-Blessing). 



into the spacious and ultra-modern quarters north of the Lakeview 
Mill. On Tuesday morning, September 4, seven hundred people found 
their places in the new offices and went to work as though they had 
always lived there. The Research & Development Department of the 
corporation took over the vacated premises in the city proper. One 
aspect of this move, not to the liking of Neenah merchants, is the 
attractive cafeteria adjoining the new offices, which keeps Kimberly- 
Clark office people off Neenah’s streets during the noon hour. 

Merger of iHeenah ''Paper Qompany and Kj rnberly- (flark Corporation 

For many years there had been a neighborly relationship between 
Kimberly-Clark and Neenah Paper Company due to certain key 
personalities with stock interest in both companies. As Kimberly- 
Clark had already entered the writing paper field through its Munising 
Mill, there appeared to be a mutual advantage through merger of the 
two companies. This was effected during 1956. Neenah Paper Com- 
pany thereupon became a division of Kimberly-Clark. 





A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



I 4 8 

J^eenah's Financial Strength 

The strong position of all of Neenah’s financial institutions reflects 
the economic well-being of the citizenry: 

Twin City Savings & Loan Assn, shows assets of 
First National Bank’s deposits at close of ’57- 

In 1952 the bank remodeled its building to the south, 
providing a service center for installment and mort- 
gage loans and a drive-in window. 

Total assets of all Neenah credit unions — 

National Manufacturers’ Bank shows deposits of — 

In 1952 this bank built its addition to the east to 
provide for a growing Trust Dept, and remodeled 
its commercial banking quarters, including auto 
window and adequate space for its accounting de- 
partment, also attractive upstairs facilities for the 
comfort and enjoyment of employees. 

Interest in Qity and zArea Planning 

For nine years prior to 1954 a committee composed of citizens 
from our Twin Cities labored to encourage coordinated planning of 
the cities and townships of Neenah and Menasha. The committee 
raised its own funds and employed technical talent which was put at 
the service of town boards and city councils. Some good results were 
achieved, such as solution of the street problem involving Neenah’s 
First Street, Menasha’s Washington and Tayco Streets, and the St. 
Patrick’s Church corner. 

In the main, however, the part-time councils and town boards were 
too busy with the pressures of today to give thought or time to the 
problems of tomorrow. On July 12, 1954, in a letter signed by Co- 
Chairmen J. M. Wheeler and S. F. Shattuck, the Twin City Planning 
Committee resigned. 

In its letter of resignation the committee recommended a city 
manager form of administration, or its equivalent. The committee 
also expressed the hope that a new approach might be found to the 
pressing need for city and area planning. This need was recognized 
on a broader front two years later. 

As we eased into this decade, the migration of people from the 
cities into the adjacent rural areas gathered momentum. Throughout 



$12,770,267.34 (’57) 
21,064,359.96 (’57) 



2,224,321.00 (’56) 

16,510,633.16 (’57) 



THE 19 5 O’S 



H9 



the Fox River Valley, from the township of Neenah to the township 
of Kaukauna, villages, townships and cities were overlapping. School 
problems, questions raised by antiquated tax laws, threats to the 
downtown commercial areas, and vexing traffic and parking problems, 
together with a rapidly increasing population (105,000 as estimated by 
th tzAppleton Tost Qrescent) all conspired to prompt the organization 
of the Fox Valley Regional Planning Commission. This much-needed 
agency came into being at a meeting in Kaukauna on May 1, 1956. 
The cities of Neenah and Menasha were charter members. It is the 
hope of the proponents of this organization that life for the generations 
to follow may be made more livable than it would be if left to Topsy- 
like or happenstance growth. 

J^eenah Tolice To at 

During the ’40s, yachting, both power and sail, was on the increase. 
Many participants were inexperienced, and the phones of power boat 
owners rang at all hours of the night for help in finding or rescuing 
members of some family who were on the lake after dark. This led our 
nautically-minded Police Chief to induce the city fathers to take over 
a power boat, formerly owned by W. C. Wing, to be used by the de- 
partment for patrolling races and for night emergency service. 

In 1950 a group of citizens, led by J. C. Kimberly, provided the 
present well-equipped and tailor-made craft, which the Chief and his 
men have used to great advantage. 

The city provides a minimum amount for gas and oil. 

The men of the Police Department give their services, day or night, 
without extra pay, not only in rescue work, but in maintenance of the 
craft. Thus far the taxing units bordering the lake, such as Townships 
of Neenah, and Oshkosh and Calumet County, have declined to 
compensate the Neenah Department for service to their citizens. T hat 
declination has not deterred the personnel of the Neenah Department. 
They continue to go anywhere, anytime that anyone is in trouble. 

This may be the time and place to say in behalf of all thoughtful 
citizens that one will search the nation for a more courteous and 
efficient police force. How Chief Stilp has maintained such outstanding 



150 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



service, housed as his department is, in a hallway, is something only 
he can explain. 

Neenati s Venetian Tarade 

Police Chief Irving Stilp is responsible for proposing and staging 
an event in 1954 which bids fair to become an annual institution, 
viz., the Venetian Parade on July 4. Twenty thousand people lined 
Neenah’s waterway for the initial performance. This colorful event 
capitalizes on Neenah’s distinctive river and park setting, together 
with the vast increase in small boat ownership. Two years later 
(’56) the Jaycees took over responsibility for continuance of the 
custom. 

Upsurge of Tower Touting 

The Tri-City Boating Club, led by Lawrence Driscoll, Frank 
Sharpless, Fred Grupe and Yerndyne Stelow, came into existence in 
1954. This club, composed of families, opened the door to enjoyment 
of Winnebagoland’s historic waterways by an enlarged circle of 
people of all ages. To the development and refinement of the outboard 
motor must go the credit for increase in this wholesome out-of-door 
sport. 

ilfew Tark Tavilion 

The antiquated and outmoded dance hall and outbuildings in 
Riverside Park finally disappeared in favor of the artistic and usable 
new park pavilion (’56) , placed east of the drive at the center of the 
park area. 

The John Tergstrom zArl (‘enter and Museum 

It was during the decade of the ’50s that both Mr. and Mrs. J. N. 
Bergstrom died (he in 1951 and she in 1958). Under the will of John 
N. Bergstrom, their residence property at 165 North Park Avenue be- 
came the property of the City of Neenah, subject to certain conditions, 
all of which have been fulfilled. When Mrs. Bergstrom died in Feb- 
ruary, 1958, the city, by ordinance, dedicated the property for use as 
an Art Center and Museum, in accordance with the wishes and direc- 



THE 1 950’S 



I U 



tion of the donors. The full story of this valuable acquisition to the 
life of Neenah is told in Part II. 

After ten years of service as Secretary of the Neenah-Menasha 
Chamber of Commerce, Don Colburn resigns to re-enter private 
business. In due time John Konrad was chosen to succeed him (’56). 

Throughout this decade Neenah ’s able and progressive school board 
kept one step ahead of mounting school papulation through construc- 
tion of the Hoover School, the classroom addition to the high school 
(’53), the big gymnasium (’55), and the Taft School in the rapidly- 
growing seventh ward in September, 1957. Nor is the project of home- 
bound instruction, instituted in 1952, to be forgotten. 

The Churches 

The churches, without which Neenah would be a spiritual wilder- 
ness, carry their share of the responsibility for maintaining Neenah as 
a good place in which to live and work. 

St. Margaret Mary builds its parochial school, Sisters’ Convent and 
gymnasium (’51). 

Trinity Lutheran razes its old school building on Oak Street and 
builds a modern structure on the site (’51). At this writing, plans are 
being drawn for a new church to be built on the site of the present 
church. 

The Presbyterians dedicate their educational wing, chapel and 
Fellowship Hall (’51) and the new sanctuary in October, 1954. 

First Church of Christ Scientist opens a reading room at 107 
Church Street (’54). 

Calvary Baptist Church purchases the vacated former home of Our 
Savior’s Lutheran Church (’55). 

Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church dedicates its newchurch 
edifice, converting its former church building into a school (’56). 

First Church cf Christ Scientist occupies its new red brick house 
of worship on East Wisconsin Avenue (’56). 

The enlarged and remodeled church of St. Paul’s English Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran congregation was dedicated and reoccupied (’56). 




Glimpses of the first “Venetian Night,” staged and organized by Chief Stilp and members of the Neenah 
Police Force — July 4, 1954. In the upper photo, the Queen and her Court of Honor wave to the crowd 
from the police boat. 



152 





Chief Stilp was found wherever work was the hardest in preparation for “Venetian Night.” 




One section of the huge audience lining Neenah’s waterway for “Venetian Night.” 



J 53 





A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



154 

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church moves in and dedicates its artistic 
and roomy new structure on South Commercial Street (’56). 

Apropos of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, it will be of interest to 
recall the pastorate of Niels Thomsen, grandfather of Oliver Thomsen. 

Niels Thomsen arrived in America from Denmark in 1871. He was, 
so Oliver says, the first minister in “the Danish-Church” to come to 
this country. After a rough time in a congregation that couldn’t or 
wouldn’t pay him enough to exist on, he tried farming, then to an 
unhappy pastorate in Indianapolis and from there to Neenah in 1874. 

Neenah looked good to him. To a friend he wrote, “Hurrah, now 
bring forth all your additions to our hymnal book — now we will need 
them — the church is continually filled with people.” 

Referring to his first congregational meeting, he writes, “No one 
was sitting with hats on, and no one was smoking tobacco.” 

Among his further comments was this gem : “A few days ago I con- 
ducted a queer funeral service. The dead man had been an atheist. 
He drank himself to death. Most of the atheists attended the funeral 
(and no others) and their sorrow was, because they could no longer, 
as they had done, drink on his expense. The dead man’s coffin was 
placed in the town’s biggest saloon, and astonishing quite a few, I 
entered the saloon, dressed in clerical vestment. The funeral sermon, 
however, was preached at the grave.” 

Q. F. Fledges 

On August 9, 1957, Mr. C. F. Hedges departed this life. 

For twenty-nine years Clare Hedges was Superintendent of Schools. 
During the ten prior years, he taught science, was Assistant Principal, 
then Principal of the High School. An associate said of him that Mr. 
Hedges could enter any classroom at Neenah High in the absence 
of the teacher, and take over. “It might be math or science, or 
English or geography; — he stepped in and handled the session as 
though he had taught it yesterday and was going to be there to- 
morrow.” 

In retrospect we remember the man’s gentleness and his delicate 
sense of fairness. He induced in his teachers and work staff a loyalty, 



THE 1 95 0’S 155 

deep and firm, that persisted long after severance of relations with 
Neenah’s schools. 

Then came the age of retirement, and finally his passing. 

Of this Ed Cochrane wrote: 

“We will miss his going by with his dogs. The slight figure, huddled into heavy 
winter cap and coat on a wintry day, with a shepherd and a nondescript dog, 
trudging through the snow. He didn’t just ‘walk the dog’ as householders know the 
term. He took long tours in the high school area and beyond the city limits. 

“We will miss a living example of a man whom we always felt should have been 
placed in a publicly useful niche in his retired years. 

“C. F. Hedges left his blaze marks deep on the ‘trees’ of our community, and 
somehow they will always be there to compass the trail for many who were privi- 
leged to be his students or his friends.” 



Twin Qity Relationships 

In view of discussions in the IHews Record during the latter half 
of 1957 relative to a common city hall and the possibility of uniting 
the Twin Cities, it seemed pertinent to bring to the fore an all-out 
effort in this direction during the last decade of the 19th century. 

Mayhew Mott, out of his long memory, contributes this: 

“I was told by Silas Bullard along about the first of this century that an effort 
had been made, not long before I had the talk with him, that a movement had 
been started to unite Neenah and Menasha into one city. He said that a committee 
was formed by the city councils of the two cities, who met and considered the 
proposition and ironed out all of the problems (bond issues, contributions to projects 
like the Menasha library, etc., conditions attached to legacies to the cities, etc.) 
and that the committee, consisting of some twenty members, was unanimously in 
favor of the united city. The only way they could unite was for one of the cities to 
annex the other, which involved the annexed city giving up its name. Neither side 
would consent to being the annexed territory. It is my understanding that this com- 
mittee functioned sometime in the 1890’s. Silas Bullard was one of the committee.” 



Our Shrinking "Dollar 

No phase of our history since the turn of the century deserves more 
serious thought from our generation than the shrinking value of our 
dollar and what can be done about it. We would indeed be remiss if 
we should close this summary of the ’50s without registering what is 
undoubtedly one of the most dangerous problems of our time. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



156 

The U. S. News & World Report pictures the downward slide of 
dollar value since 1939. 

In 1939, prior to World War II, the dollar may be said to have been 

worth — loojf 

From 1939 to 1945, under the impact of all-out war and unrestrained 
spending, the dollar shrank from 100^ to — 77 . 1 $. 

(or a shrinkage of 22.8|£) 

During the twelve years between January 1, 1946, and January 1, 1958, 
the wage-cost-price spiral, along with other influences, sent the dollar down 
to — 48.8^ 

(This was at the rate of between 2 and 3^ per year.) 

Now we look forward to celebrating Neenah’s 100th birth- 
day in 1973 (15 years away). With what kind of dollars 
will that event be recognized? 

Suppose the wage-cost-price spiral continues unchecked for 
the next 15 years. Assume also that the purchasing power 
of the dollar is driven down at the rate of only 1 per 
year; that would spell an anniversary celebration in 1973 
with dollars worth — 26^ 

Or, if the downward creep were to continue at the rate of 2 <ji 
per year, we’ll celebrate with dollars shrunk to — 18^ 

Increasing numbers of older people and others on fixed incomes 
look with dismay on a trend that spells for them impossible living 
costs. While this is not the place to discuss economics, as such, it is 
pertinent to bring to view some of the causes of the creeping inflation 
that enmeshes us, such as big government, all-out defense spending, 
flat money (paper currency issued by government without guaranty 
of redemption), and the wage-cost-price spiral. 

We, as private citizens, can do little about the control of govern- 
ment spending except to back such agencies as the Committee for the 
Hoover Report, dedicated to economy in government. 

There is, however, one sector of our citizenry that is big enough and 
strong enough to attack the inflation problem at its heart, viz: labor 
unions. 

Coupled with this is the historical fact that when wartime restraints 
were removed, wage demands and higher costs marched upward in 
lock step. 



THE 19 5 O’S 



T 57 



During the ’80s, ’90s and first decade of this century, corporations 
were in the driver’s seat. They abused their power. It was existence 
of too much power in the hands of business leaders of that day that 
led to enactment of the anti-trust laws. Today, the shoe is on the 
other foot. Unions, grown big, wealthy and politically powerful now 
dominate the industrial life of America. 

As always in a democracy, great financial and political power is 
accompanied by corresponding social obligations. The question now 
asked is whether there is top leadership in organized labor with wis- 
dom, patriotism and guts enough to measure up to the total social 
responsibility that is theirs. 

Or, in the public interest, must governmental action reduce and 
control the exercise of union power as it did half a century ago in the 
case of the corporations? 

('on Id diecomezA C/rass Toots Movement 

Evidence is not lacking that American men and women constituting 
the body of unions, if given opportunity for self expression, are capable 
of courageous, even sacrificial action, that might well become con- 
tagious. For instance, this from Detroit, under dateline of January 2, 
1958: 

“The most amazing thing that’s happened to us in the last 30 years,” is the way 
Edward J. Nowark, Detroit’s assistant budget director, put it. He was referring to a 
letter from the Michigan Sewage Treatment Employes Union, representing about 
200 city employes, which said, “Because of the steady mounting of the nationwide 
spiral ot inflation, we feel that any direct pay raises as such will only contribute to 
the already alarming inflationary trend, and will ultimately result in greater loss 
than gain. Therefore, for the fiscal year of 1958-59, we are foregoing any request for 
a direct pay raise.” 

Richard J. Gray, President of the Building Trades Department, at 
the AFL-CIO Convention in December, 1957, was clear-eyed when 
he proposed a year’s pay freeze to halt inflation and spur construc- 
tion, predicting that the nineteen construction unions would endorse 
his plea. Gray’s proposal made headlines on the front page of the 
York Times. His fellow officials buried his proposal in ridicule. Mr. 
Gray recognized the sober fact that only by a decisive action that 
cuts squarely across the wage-cost-price trend can the spiral be jolted. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



158 

Ralph McGill, Editor of th tiAtlanta Constitution , widely known for 
his wise comment on the American scene, slips in this observation: 
“It would make sense if the nation should seem to be heading into a 
long strike-bound period over wages, to freeze prices and wages. If 
costs and wages go up, then prices will mount, and the recession will 
deepen.” 

From the viewpoint of an interested observer of current history, it 
would seem that the psychological moment is here for a fresh look. 
We have arrived at 1958 with industry on a plateau — slackened 
sales, sharpened competition, lower earnings, and, in many industries 
short running. Has not the time arrived for a change of pace? 

Harold B. Wess, in Human Events of July, 1957, suggests the 
tragic alternative: “Unless the major economic trend of the last 
twenty-five years in this country is reversed, the only true free enter- 
prise system in the world will bleed itself to death.” 

When Neenah becomes 100 years old on March 13, 1973, and takes 
a backward look at the critical fifteen years between then and now, 
what shall the verdict be? 

jQocal Unions and j^ocal JEeadership 

Returning to the Twin City scene, we find a situation that is typical 
of many another smaller community where relationships between 
people in the mills and people in the management have been cordial 
and cooperative over a long span of years. Generations of young 
people have grown up in an atmosphere of industrial peace, friendli- 
ness and understanding. It was out of this atmosphere that the 
Neenah-Menasha Trades and Labor Council, back in 1951, staged the 
first of a series of Labor-Management Dinners. This gesture reveals 
not only a civic-minded leadership, but points up the quality and 
character of local union membership. 

And, in this connection, be it remembered that leaders of this Coun- 
cil, including John Arnold, Ebbe Berg, and John Pawlowski, played a 
strong hand in establishing the Community Chest of Neenah- 
Menasha. (S.F.S.) 



THE 1 9 5 O’S 



159 



^Keenati s Topuialion / 7,000 

As we leave the year 1957 to history, we would record that during 
1957 Neenah’s population crossed the 17,000 mark. 

To Summarize 

We who have been privileged to work on this historical project 
emerge with a fresh appreciation of what it takes to develop a com- 
munity in which its people live in reasonable comfort, and enjoy 
opportunities for mental, physical, social and spiritual satisfactions. 
Threading our way across the eighty years since 1878 gives us a keen 
sense of indebtedness to the generations that have gone before. It is 
upon their foundation of thought and effort that we have builded. 

The repetitive references in the decade write-ups to buildings, cor- 
porations, societies, churches, financial institutions and dollar values 
are oppressive. These things are important, but they are so imper- 
sonal. It is the faith and the vision, the initiative and persistence of 
individual people that have made these institutions and services what 
they are and that have given to Neenah its quality and character. 

Material things pass away. Spiritual values — ideals, civic pride, 
faith and love persist from generation to generation, and determine 
the tone of a community. 

As one traces the ebb and flow of life through these eight decades, 
we find ourselves saying with the Psalmist: “Unless the Lord builds 
the house, those who build it labor in vain.” 



tes 



J^otes 



JA (j)te s 






Tart II of this volume contains original material that came 
to our committee from many organizations and individuals 
of our community over a thirty-month period, from mid-ip^S 
to "December , 1957. 

The reader will find his way to this source material through 
the Table of (f on tents on pages 165 to 168 . 



“May I underline the belief that each of us is a trustee of the past that we have 
the important task of living up to our inheritance and adding something to it. 

“Let us always remember that there was a time in this country when even a whole 
day of life was not taken for granted; much less water, shelter, and a safe night’s 
sleep. Now by reason of this uniquely bountiful heritage, we take for granted — 
too much. We assume, we expect, we insist. Nowhere else in the world is this possible. 

“It is not to guarantee us ice cream and television that women bore children under 
Indian attack —that they were partners in the great pioneering sweep to the West 

“ ... It is perhaps good for us to remember what our simple right to vote cost other 
human beings. Perhaps they had no thought for us; they were concerned with 
making their America. But what they made is what we have. 

“To take this heritage unthinkingly for granted is a first step to losing it. 

“Tomorrow can be kept bright and shining, I firmly believe, only through the same 
faith and courage, the hard work and common sense, the positive Americanism we 
build into today.” 

Mrs. Ruth DeYoung Kohler, given before the 
American Association of Museums on May JO, igj2 



CONTENTS 

PART II 



Banks and Financial 169 

First National Bank of Neenah National Manufacturers’ Bank 

Neenah State Bank Twin City Savings and Loan Association 

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company Credit Bureau- Credit 

Unions -Neenah-Menasha Finance Company (Thorp Finance) — 

Rock Finance Company 

Blacksmithing 183 

Johnson & Myhre 

Boyhood Days in Neenah — by Kendrick Kj m ball 184 

Cemeteries 189 

Oak Hill Memorial Park 

Chamber of Commerce 191 

Junior Chamber 

Churches 194 

Assembly of God Pentecostal — Calvary Baptist Church — Church 
of Christ First Church of Christ Scientist First Evangelical 
United Brethren Church — First Methodist Church First Presby- 

terian Church Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Immanuel’s 

Evangelical and Reformed Church Martin Luther Evangelical 

Lutheran Church Our Savior’s Lutheran Church -St. Margaret- 

Mary’s Catholic Church St. Patrick’s Catholic Church St. Paul’s 

English Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Mark’s Mission Church) 

St. Thomas Episcopal Church Seventh Day Adventist Church 



Trinity Lutheran Church Universalist Church Welsh Churches 
Whiting Memorial Baptist Church 

City Administration 213 

Mayors Serving City — City Clerks Serving City Comparative 
Population, Assessed Valuation and Tax Levy Figures Fire Depart- 
ment Police Department 



165 



Commercial 



220 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



1 66 



Communications 222 

Telegraph, telephone, radio, TV 

Community Chest 227 

Community Council 229 



Dana Club Hall 230 

Dental Profession 231 



Doty Cabin 234 

Electric Light, Electric Power & Interurban Service. . . 236 

Family Service 240 

Fraternal and Social Organizations 242 

A.A.U.W. American Legion — Hawley-Dieckhoff Post No. 33— 

American Legion Auxiliary to Hawley-Dieckhoff Post No. 33 Busi- 

ness and Professional Women’s Club Danish Brotherhood Lodge — 

Daughters of American Revolution Delphian Society Disabled 

American Veterans Fclectic Reading Circle Economics Club — 

Elks Lodge No. 67 6-- Emergency Society Equitable Reserve As- 

sociation -Equitable Reserve Association Neenah Assembly No. 1 

Ex Libris Club Germania Benevolent Society Golden Age Club 

— H. J. Lewis Woman’s Relief Corps Homemaker’s Club Job’s 

Daughters Bethel #57 Kings’ Daughters- Kings’ Daughters and 

Sons, Welfare Circle Kiwanis Club Knights of Columbus 

Knights of Pythias, Neenah Lodge No. 80- Ladies of the Grand Army 

of the Republic League of Women Voters Lions Club- 

Masons, Elisha Kent Kane Lodge; Royal Arch Masons; Twin Cities 
Commandery-Knights Templar; Eastern Star; Beauceant -Menasha 

Garden Club -Neenah Club Oddfellowship Betty Rebekah 

Lodge #212 Optimist Club Rotary Club Royal Neighbors of 

America, Doty Camp, No. 6341- Sarah Doty Study Club United 

Church Women Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hubbard-Peterson Post 

7990 Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Auxiliary of Hubbard-Peterson 

Post 7990 Who’s New Club Women’s Christian Union- 

Women’s Tuesday Club Y. T. and F. Club Zonta Club 

Hospital — Theda Clark Memorial 292 



Ice Business 



295 



CONTENTS — PART II 



167 

296 



Industrial 

Atlas Tag Company Banta, George, Company, Inc. Bergstrom 

Foundry Bergstrom Paper Company Burstein, Meyer, & Sons 

Central Paper Company Edgewater Paper Company Gallo- 
way Company Gilbert Paper Company Hardwood Products 

Corporation Hewitt, J. W., Machine Company Hoerning’s Con- 
crete Products — Jersild Knitting Corporation Kimberly-Clark 

Corporation Manhattan Rubber Manufacturing Company 

Marathon Corporation (Marathon-Canco.) Menasha Wooden 

Ware Corporation Neenah Electrotype Corporation - -Neenah 

Foundry Company Neenah Paper Company School Stationers 

Corporation Strange, John, Carton Company Strange, John 

Paper Company Valley Press, Inc. Whiting, George A., Paper 

Company Wisconsin Tissue Mills 

Journalism 339 

Labor Movement 344 

Legal Profession 352 

Library 358 

Medical Profession 361 

American Academy of General Practice 

Military 368 

Museum (Bergstrom) 373 

Parks, Playgrounds, Recreation Program, Golf Clubs. . . 376 

Columbian Park Riverside Park Shattuck Park Doty Park 

Kimberly Point Park Water Street Area Washington Park 

High School Athletic Field Laudan Fields Park Statistics 

—Recreation (Swimming Pool, Recreation Building, Appointment 
of Director, etc.) Golf Clubs 

Planning 386 

Post Office 389 

Red Cross 391 

Schools.! 394 



Establishment of System — Officials and Buildings Naming of School 



1 68 



A HISTORY OF NEEN A H 



Buildings Superintendency- First High School Graduates — 
Forming of Kindergarten Elementary Supervisor Auxiliary Or- 
ganization and Interests (Special Education, Neenah-Menasha Associa- 
tion for Retarded Children, School Nurse and Health Protection) 

Aims Music Program Art Home Economics — Vocational 

School School Population Soars Twenty-five year teachers 

School Board High School Organizations (school papers, clubs, 



honor society) Athletics Neenah Teachers* Association High 

School Alumni Association Parent-Teacher Association “A City 

Father Talks” School Strike Parochial Schools (St. Margaret- 

Mary’s School, Trinity Lutheran School, Martin Luther School) 

'Transportation 424 

Railroads (C&NW, Soo Line, Wisconsin Central, Milwaukee & North- 
ern, Wisconsin & Northern) Air Travel (North Central) 

Utilities, Public 430 

Water System Sewer System 

Visiting Nurse Association 435 

VNA Auxiliary 

w innebago Players 439 

(Community Drama Groups) 

Yachting 440 

Winnebagoland Marathon- —Tri-City Boating Club 

Young Women’s Christian Association 447 

(The Young Women’s Club) 

Youth Organizations 4^1 

Boys* Brigade Boy Scouting Girl Scouting 






BANKS AND FINANCIAL 



COMPILED BV AMBROSE OWEN 

The First Rational Tank of iNfenah 

The Hank of Neenah, organized in 1861 by David Smith and Robert 
Shiells, had obtained a National Bank Charter in 1865 and became 
the National Bank of Neenah. Officers and Directors as of January 1, 
1878, were: Henry Hewitt, Sr., President; Robert Shiells, Cashier; 
J. A. Kimberly, John R. Davis and Havilah Babcock. 

On Sunday morning, January 14, 1883, the banking office was 
totally destroyed by fire. The bank opened for business the next 
morning as usual (Monday) in the Kimberly-Clark Company’s 
office. I'his fire destroyed the buildings known as the “Pettibone 
Block,” in which the bank was located, on the same corner as the 
present bank building. 




First National Bank 
169 



170 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



In January of 1886 Henry Hewitt, Sr., retired as President and 
was succeeded by Robert Shiells. J. A. Kimberly was elected Vice 
President and Alex McNaughton, Cashier. 

In 1 888 Mr. McNaughton resigned as Cashier to enter the paper 
business, and John P. Shiells was elected to the position of Cashier. 
A special meeting of the stockholders was called in August of 1905, 
and it was voted to extend the charter and to change the name of the 
institution to The First National Bank of Neenah. The Capital was 
also increased to $100,000. In October of the same year Robert Shiells 
retired as a Director and President of the bank. The new officers 
were: J. A. Kimberly, President; John P. Shiells, Vice President; and 
F. E. Ballister, Cashier. Deposits of the bank were now $663,360.00, 
and total assets $860,301.47. 

The Capital of the bank was increased to $125,000 in March of 
1913, and the following year the bank became a member of the newly- 
established Federal Reserve System. 

J. A. Kimberly was elected Chairman of the Board in January of 
1920. F. E. Ballister was elected President; C. A. Babcock, Vice 
President; and F. R. Schallert, Cashier. Plans were made for a new 
bank building on the same location, and the Surplus account increased 
to $125,000. The new building became a reality and was occupied in 
January of 1921. While the new building was being constructed, the 
bank rented quarters in the old Russell House, and occupied space on 
almost the exact spot where the bank started business in 1861, before 
moving to its present location about 1865. (The Russell House, as 
many present residents will remember, disappeared when the Na- 
tional Manufacturers’ Bank bought the property in 1922.) 

John W. Powers became Cashier of the bank in 1923 and served in 
that capacity until his death in 1932. Deposits of the bank were now 
in excess of $1,800,000 and total assets were well over $2,000,000. 

Bank failures had become common in the agricultural states as 
early as 1921. During the period 1921-1933, over two thousand na- 
tional banks and nearly 10,000 state banks failed. Upon the inaugura- 
tion of F. D. Roosevelt as President of the United States on March 4, 
19 33, one of his first acts was to close every bank, both state and 
national, in the United States. After a period of approximately two 



BANKS AND FINANCIAL 



I 7 I 

weeks, the Comptroller of the Currency allowed the stronger banks to 
re-open and conduct business as usual. The remaining banks were 
permitted to re-open at later dates on a restricted basis and many 
banks were liquidated or merged with the stronger ones. Neenah’s 
two National Banks were among the first to re-open on a “business- 
as-usual” basis. The Neenah State Bank re-opened on a restricted 
basis and later decided to liquidate. All depositors were eventually 
paid in full. 

In September of 1936 The First National Bank observed its 75th 
anniversary. Deposits were then $2,605,717.05. 

In January of 1944, F. E. Ballister retired as President and Direc- 
tor, after 56 years of association with the bank. The new officers were: 
). Russell Ward, President; John N. Bergstrom, Vice President; 
Ambrose Owen, Vice President and Cashier; Elmer J. Schultheis, 
Asst. Vice President; Einar Jorgensen, Asst. Cashier. Two years later 
the Capital of the bank was increased to $300,000, and the Surplus 
account also increased to $300,000. 

The interior of the bank building was remodeled in 1949, and on 
December 19 of that year the public was invited to an “Open House.” 
Deposits had grown to nearly $15,000,000. Three years later addi- 
tional space was needed, and the building adjoining the bank on the 
south was completely remodeled and became a part of the banking 
facilities. This addition provided an Auto Window and a Service Cen- 
ter where the installment loan and mortgage loan departments were 
located. 

In April of 1953 the Surplus account was increased to $500,000. By 
December 31, 1956, deposits had grown to $20,798,403.43 and total 
assets were $22,238,409.87. At the annual stockholders meeting held 
in January of 1957, it was voted to increase the Capital of the bank 
to accommodate the increased and growing volume of business. The 
shareholders approved a stock split of five shares for each outstanding 
share by changing the par value from $100.00 per share to $20.00 per 
share. This action was followed by a 335% stock dividend and the 
sale of an additional five thousand shares of $20.00 par value stock. 
After giving effect to these changes, the Capital account of The First 
National Bank of Neenah on June 30, 1957, was: Capital, $500,000, 



A HISTORY OF NEKNAH 



I?2 

Surplus $500,000, Undivided Profits, $457,775.48, General Contin- 
gency Reserve $100,000. 



Directors /S 6 ^-/(J ^6 



P C Robert Shiells 


1861-1905 




D. K. Brown 


1927- 


P Henry Hewitt, Sr. 


1865-1888 




J. W. Bergstrom 


1928-1948 


A. W. Patton 


1865-1867 




las. W. Bergstrom 


1928-1932 


Alexander Syme 


1865-1866 




j. C. Kimberly 


1931-1940 


P CHM J. A. Kimberly 


1865-1929 




Ernst Mahler 


1931- 


Kdward Smith 


1866-1869 




John R. Kimberly 


I 94°- 


Havilah Babcock 


1869-1905 




Cola G. Parker 


I 943~ 


John R. Davis 


1867-1885 


p 


I. Russell Ward 


1943- 


D. L. Kimberly 


1885-1892 




C. H. Sage 


1944- 


C John P. Shiells 


1888-1920 




John W. O’Leary 


1944- 


Francis J. Kimberly 1893-1895 




J. Dudleigh Young 


' 944- 


D. W. Bergstrom 


1895-1928 




N. H. Bergstrom 


^48- 


Geo. O. Bergstrom 


1895-1928 


c 


Ambrose Owen 


1948- 


P C F. E. Ballister 


1905-1944 




C. W. Sawyer 


1949-1951 


F. J. Sensenbrenner 


1905-1952 




Win. L. Keady 


1951-1952 


C. A. Babcock 


1905-1940 




J. Leslie Sensen- 




H. K. Babcock 


•90-1 93° 




brenner 


1952- 


H. F. Anspach 


1920-1931 




John Stevens, Jr. 


•953- 


Gustav Kalfahs 


1920-1923 




John B. Catlin 


>955- 


C. B. Clark 


1920-1949 




Leo O. Schubart 


1955- 


Geo. A. Jagerson 


1920-1934 




William R. Kellett 


1956- 


P -Served as President, C 


— Served as 


Cashier 


■, CHM -Served as Chairman. 




Presidents 






Henry Hewitt, Sr. 


1865-1886 




J. A. Kimberly 


1905-1920 


Robert Shiells 


1886-1905 




F. E. Ballister 


1920-1944 




J. Russell Ward 


1944- 






Cashiers 






Robert Shiells 


1861-1886 




John W. Powers 


1922-1932 


Alex McNaughton 


1886-1888 




Adolph Hen nig 


1932-1942 


John P. Shiells 


1888-1905 




Ambrose Owen 


1942-1956 


F. E. Ballister 


1905-1920 




Herbert H. 




F. R. Schallert 


1920-1921 




Thermansen 


1956- 


A. R. Dahms 


1921-1922 









Present Officers: J. Russell Ward, President; Ambrose Owen, 
Executive Vice President; Elmer J. Schultheis, Vice President; Paul 
N. Dawson, Vice President; Herbert H. Thermansen, Cashier; Harry 



BANKS AND FINANCIAL 



173 



E. Neubauer, Assistant Vice President; Herbert W. Kruse, Assistant 
Vice President; Raymond A. Pederson, Assistant Cashier; Beulah 
M. Robb, Assistant Cashier. 



The Rational Manufacturers' Tank 

On the evening of November 28, 1881, a group of local citizens met 
at the Russell House to organize a new bank. Capital stock of $65,000 
was subscribed, and it was decided to call the new institution The 
Manufacturers’ National Bank of Neenah. Elected as members of the 
first Board of Directors were: H iram Smith, D. C. Van Ostrand, 
Henry Sherry, F. C. Shattuck, Alex Billstein, Samuel Hay and 
Charles Schriber. 

Quarters of the new bank were located in a building (now 109 West 
Wisconsin Avenue) that had formerly been the photographic studio 




Quarters of the National Manufacturers’ Bank in the 90’s — space now occupied by the Wisconsin- 
Michigan Power Company. S. B. Morgan, left. H. C. Hilton, dimly visible at right. 



174 



A HISTORY OF NEENAIi 




National Manufacturers’ Bank 



of C. B. Manville, who later became President of Johns-Manville 
Company. The first call by the Comptroller of Currency for a report 
of condition on May 19, 1882, showed deposits of §91,135.48. 

At the turn of the century a statement published on February 15, 
1900, showed deposits of $474,418.63. The following year, upon 
renewal of its charter, the bank’s name was changed to the National 
Manufacturers’ Bank of Neenah, and capital stock was increased to 
$75,000. In 1902 the front of the building, which formerly had been 
of the ordinary store front type, was remodeled to give the building 
an appearance more in keeping with a banking institution. Interior 
changes, including improvements to the vault, were also undertaken. 

Capital stock was increased to $100,000 in 1913, and, since by 1922 
larger quarters had become imperative, negotiations were undertaken 
to purchase the site of the Russell House (at the corner of Commercial 
Street and Wisconsin Avenue) for a new building. The old landmark 
was razed and construction started that year, with the new building 
being completed and ready for occupancy on June 15, 1923. 

To meet the needs of an expanding community and economy, the 
bank in 1945 sold an additional $100,000 of capital stock, increasing 
the capital and surplus to $500,000. The Trust Department was 
established in 1946. 




BANKS AND FINANCIAL 



175 



By 1952 it had again become necessary to have more space. The 
structure adjoining the bank to the east was razed and an addition to 
the existing building was begun. Plans called for integrating the new 
addition with the existing structure, and the completely remodeled 
quarters were ready for formal opening on June 20, 1953. Features 
included adequate space for the Trust Department, a completely 
carpeted lobby floor, and a Drive-In-Window on the south side of the 
building. 

In the fall of 1956 the National Manufacturers’ Bank observed its 
75th anniversary with an open house celebration and publication of 
an historical booklet. Articles of furniture, farm tools and other items 
used at the time of the bank’s founding were displayed in the lobby, 
and the staff was dressed in costumes of the period, all of which lent a 
gay and festive touch to the occasion. 

The statement of condition as of December 31, 1957, showed depos- 
its of $16,510,633.16. 



Directors 



Hiram Smith 1881-1900 

D. C. Van Ostrand 1881-1905 

Henry Sherry 1881-1897 

F. C. Shattuck 1881-1901 

Alex Billstein 1881-1895 

Samuel M. Hay 1881-1904 

Charles Schriber 1881-1919 

William Kellett 1894-1901 

Moses Billstein 1896-1905 

D. W. Barnes 1898-1908 

W. M. Gilbert 1900-1925 

E. E. Jandrey, Sr. 1901-1933 

M. W. Krueger 1901 -1939 

S. F. Shattuck 1903- 



Jacob Hanson 
W. G. Brown 
Hans R. Hanson 
L. J. Pinkerton 
E. D. Beals 
Gustav Kalfahs 
A. C. Gilbert 
Norton J. Williams 
S. N. Pickard 
E. E. Jandrey, Jr. 
E. J. Aylward 
James Webb 
R. H. Quade 
Roy Sund 
E. A. Kalfahs 
J. M. Wheeler 
George M. Gilbert 
J. F. Gillingham 
John S. Tolversen 



1932- 

1933 - 
T 944 - 
* 944 “ 

1945- 

1945 - 

1946- 
1948- 

J 95 i- 

1952- 

'9 55 - 



1916-1920 

1920-1941 

1920 - 1947 

1921 - 1934 
1923-1927 

I923-I946 

1926-1952 

1928-1954 



J. J. Leutenegger 1905-1925 
E. H. Van Ostrand 1906-1909 

M. L. Campbell 1909-1915 

S. B. Morgan 1910-1915 

E. A. Williams 1916-1920 



Presidents 



Hiram Smith 
D. C. Van Ostrand 
W. M. Gilbert 



1881-1900 

1900-1906 

1906-1925 



W. G. Brown 
S. F. Shattuck 
S. N. Pickard 



1925-1932 

1932-1937 

1937 - 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



I?6 



Cashiers 

R. P. Finney 1881-1884 H. C. Hilton 1925-1936 

S. B. Morgan 1884-1914 J. F. Gillingham 1936-1952 

W. G. Brown 1914-1925 H. W. Hinterthuer 1 952— 

Sdeenah State Hank 

(formerly located 104 K. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah) 

Data as reported by State Banking Department: Articles of 
incorporation were dated September 29, 1911, and were approved by 
the Commissioner of Banking on October 3, 1911. The Certificate of 
Authority to Commence Business is dated December 11. 

The signers of the Articles of Incorporation are as follows: 

W. H. Spengler 
Wm. Aylward 
J. N. Stone 
Gottfried Ulrich 
E. J. Lachmann 

The bank was placed in liquidation as of November 4, 1933, and the 
Court Order terminating the liquidation is dated July 23, 1942. 

The first statement of which there is knowledge is as of November 
26, 1912, at which time deposits totalled $136,847.42. The Officers on 
that date were: 

W. H. Spengler — President 
E. J. Lachmann — Vice President 
B. C. Wettlaufer — Cashier 

The Directors on that date were the five incorporators, plus J. R. 
Barnett, Sr., and Chas. Schultz. 



The Twin Qity Savings and jQpan ^Association 

Organization — Organized and incorporated in 1893 as the Twin City 
Building-Loan and Savings Association and described under Wiscon- 
sin Laws as “A Mutual Thrift and Home Financing Institution” 
(name changed to Twin City Savings and Loan Association in 1952). 
Incorporators: Haskell E. Coats, T. B. Blair, Charles Schultz, S. B. 



BANKS AND FINANCIAL 1 77 

Morgan, E. W. Thurston, F. T. Russell, Mrs. E. W. Jenkins, O. L. 
Huie, Frank Laird. 

First Officers: F. T. Russell, President; Haskell E. Coats, Vice Presi- 
dent; Merritt L. Campbell, Secretary; S. B. Morgan, Treasurer; 
B. S. Sanders, Attorney. 

First Directors: M. L. Campbell, F. T. Russell, Eugene Thurston, 
Charles Schultz, Mrs. E. W. Jenkins, Father Wm. DeKelver, Haskell 
E. Coats, E. J. Lachmann, Frank Laird, T. B. Blair. 

History and growth — Locations, second floor of the present News 
Record building, 1893-1918; second floor Neenah State Bank, 1918— 
1935; first floor Jewelers Insurance Building, 1935. 

zAsset Qrowth: 1932 — $186,000; 1944 — $1,800,000; 1957 — 

$12,770,267.34. Since 1893 has paid 128 consecutive semi-annual 
dividends and met all withdrawal demands promptly. 

Has financed over 1 1,500 homes in its history and has had only 12 
foreclosures. 

Present Officers: President-Treasurer, Iveaux W. Andersen; Vice 
President, E. F. Nemitz; Secretary, Herbert R. Pagel; Assistant 
Secretary, Wm. H. Foth; Assistant Treasurer, Evelyn Garfield; Attor- 
ney, John W. O’Leary. 

Directors: F. O. Heckrodt, Chairman of the Board, Insurance and 
Appraisals; Iveaux W. Andersen, President; D. W. Bergstrom, Treas- 
urer, Bergstrom Paper Co.; E. C. Joyce, Attorney, O’Leary, Joyce 
and Remley; P. J. Gazecki, Secretary, Whiting Paper Company; 
Carl F. Geisler, Vice President, Marathon Corporation; T. M. Gilbert, 
President, Gilbert Paper Company; E. F. Nemitz, retired, formerly 
Superintendent-Electrotype Dept., Marathon Corporation; W. J. 
Dowling, Owner, Jaeger- Dowling Company. 

Fast ‘Presidents: F. T. Russell, 1983-1896; Haskell E. Coats, 1896- 
1906; Gustav Kalfahs, 1906-1943; Dio W. Dunham, 1943-1953. 

Local names active in Association since 1892 with personal notes on 
each, in the order found on Association books: 

F. T. Russell: first President of Association, President of Russell Paper Co., now 
the Neenah Paper Company. 

Haskell K. Coats: first Vice President, Captain in Civil War and local postmaster 
for Neenah. 




A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Merrit L. Campbell: first Secretary, local attorney, and one of the chief promoters 
of the EFU, now the Equitable Reserve Association. 

S. B. Morgan: first Treasurer, Cashier of The National Manufacturers’ Bank. 

B. S. Sanders: first Attorney, local attorney, famous for being attorney of success- 
ful suit against the City of Neenah, when the first sewer built in Neenah on East 
Forest Avenue was assessed against the property owners, and the suit made the 
city pay for same. 

Eugene Thurston: Chief Machinist, Jamieson Machine Shop (now Hewitt Ma- 
chine Co.). 

Charles Schultz: Cigar manufacturer and local merchant. 

Rev. Wm. DeKelver: Pastor, St. Patrick Church, Menasha. 

Mrs. E. W. Jenkins: Active in civic affairs. 

E. J. Lachmann: Miller and banker, first President, Neenah State Bank. 

Frank Laird: Local tailor of fame — shop now operated by Lohse. 

T. B. (Tom) Blair: Local printer who sold shop to Ed Fueschel and Thomas 
Thomsen as the Neenah Printing Company. The story is that the purchase price 
was S40 per month as long as Blair lived. 

Gustav Kalfahs: Third President of the Association, was a cooper who turned 
grocer and industrialist. 

Dio W. Dunham: Fourth President, formerly at ERA, in charge of publications, 
very active in civic matters. 

Andrew W. Anderson: Director 1908-1949, became Secretary in 1918. Was local 
jeweler in firm of Nelson and Anderson (now McCarthy). Active in Jewelers Trade 
Organizations, Secretary of Wisconsin Retail Jewelers Association and American 
Retail Jewelers Association. Chief organizer of the Jewelers Mutual Insurance Com- 
pany. Known in the Savings and Loan as the one who made possible the later growth 
of the Association. 



Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company 

The Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company is important locally be- 
cause it represents a part of the life work of one of its chief founders, 
Andrew W. Anderson, who was born in Neenah on July 6, 1873, and 
died June 22, 1949. 

Because of his activity in the jewelry business, he brought to 
Neenah the nationwide recognition among jewelers, as one of the im- 
portant centers of the jewelry trade groups. 

Again, because Andrew W. Anderson was so important in the life 
of this company, a brief resume of his business life casts a direct light 
on the prior statements. 

Andrew W. Anderson began as an apprentice in his half-brother’s 
store (W. O. Nelson) and at age 21 became a partner and the recog- 



BANKS AND FINANCIAL 



I79 



nized optometrist in the store. In 1910 he became the second secretary 
of the Wisconsin Retail Jewelers Association, and in 1912 was elected 
secretary of the American National Retail Jewelers Association, and 
moved both offices to Neenah. In 1912, at the request of the Directors 
of the Wisconsin Retail Jewelers Association, he organized the insur- 
ance company that today is known as the Jewelers Mutual Insurance 
Company, home office, Jewelers Insurance BuiLding, Neenah, Wis- 
consin. To give the opinion of Best’s Insurance Guide, which is to 
insurance companies what Dun & Bradstreet is to general businesses, 
their resume of the company as of December 31, 1954, is as follows: 

history — The company was organized under the laws of Wisconsin 
in March, 1913, as the National Jewelers Mutual Fire Insurance Com- 
pany. It began business on June 1, 1914. The present title was adopted 
April 30, 1952. 

management — Many of the officers and directors are also identified 
with the American National Retail Jewelers Association and the Wis- 
consin Retail Jewelers Association. 

The company is the only carrier in the United States acting in behalf 
of jewelers only. Underwriting is confined to fire, extended coverage 
and jewelers block insurance for retail, wholesale and manufacturing 
jewelers, watchmakers, optometrists, allied enterprises and for their 
families and employees. 

Surplus funds are more than ample to provide for the very conserva- 
tive volume of business transacted, reserves for unearned premiums 
are on the N. Y. Standard basis, and dividends to policyholders have 
been fully justified by savings. Cash and U. S. Government bond hold- 
ings alone amount to 163% of reported liabilities, an exceptionally 
strong position. Losses averaged 30.9% of earned premiums, while 
expenses were 29.9% of written premiums during the past five years. 

Investments comprise principally U. S. Government bonds with a 
par value of $271,000. Only two high grade common stocks, totaling 
$27,912 are held. Other holdings are one small mortgage loan and the 
company’s home office building acquired in July, J 935 - 

An examination of the company’s affairs was made by the Insurance 
Department of Wisconsin as of December 31, 1951. 



j 80 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Our general policyholders’ rating is “A + ” (Excellent). The finan- 
cial rating is “BB.” 



Admitted Assets 
Reserves 

Insurance in force 
Losses paid since 1913 
Dividends paid since 1913 



$ 681,000.00 

431,770.00 
58,000,000.00 

1 .000. 000.00 

1 .300.000. 00 



The company is non-assessable. 

Territory: Licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachu- 
setts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North 
Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. 
Writes business in other states by mail from the home office and has 
insurance in all states. 

Officers: President, E. R. Fuchs; Vice President, S. Dalin; Secre- 
tary-Treasurer, I. W. Andersen; Underwriting Manager, G. M. Jef- 
fery. 

! Directors : Maurice Adelsheim, Minneapolis, Minnesota; I W. An- 
dersen, Neenah; S. Dalin, West Allis, Wisconsin; George Engelhard, 
Chicago, Illinois; E. R. Fuchs, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; John P. Hess, 
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Wm. J. Kilb, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; H. W. 
Rank, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and R. J. Treiber, Appleton, Wisconsin. 

Employees in Neenah — 12. 

Credit Bureau 

In the year 1929, Mr. E. G. Zabel organized a local firm to which he 
gave the name Business Service, Inc. One of the functions of the new 
firm was the establishment of a complete listing of Twin City resi- 
dents with basic credit information such as age, address, wife’s name, 
children, employment, and with ledger information furnished by local 
merchants, a coded summary of the paying habits and buying activi- 
ties of these residents. The coded system established at that time and 
many of the original listings on card form are still used by the present 
Credit Bureau. 

The new business hardly was off to a start when the Great Depres- 
sion was upon the country. Financial difficulties caused the founder 
of the Bureau to look about for additional management talent and 
funds. In 1933, Mr. O. B. Pratt and Mr. George W. Pyott, Jr. of 



BANKS AND FINANCIAL 



I 8 1 



Elgin, Illinois acquired an interest in the firm, and in about one year, 
the original founder had sold his interests in their entirety to Mssrs. 
Pratt and Pyott. The activities of the firm, Business Service, Inc. were 
then directed to the promotion of a Credit Bureau, Collection Agency, 
and Letter Shop exclusively. Membership in the Credit Bureau was 
increased and in 1937, Mr. George W. Pyott, Jr. became the sole 
owner of the firm and had the name changed to Neenah-Menasha 
Credit Bureau, Inc. Operation of the Credit Bureau then became the 
sole interest of Mr. Pyott until his death in 1953 at which time the 
present manager Mr. Ray Cheslock took over active direction of the 
business. In 1955, the name of the business was again changed to 
Credit Bureau of Neenah-Menasha and the Collection Agency activi- 
ties discontinued. Credit Bureau of Neenah-Menasha, as it exists 
today maintains records of local residents’ paying habits and ability 
that are considered second to none in the field. Through its affiliation 
with the Associated Credit "Bureaus of Mmerica, comprised of 19,000 
member bureaus , local members may obtain credit reports on indi- 
viduals in any part of the country as well as on all local people. 

Credit Unions 

A new form of financial organization came into being during the late 
1920’s. Known as Credit Unions, they are a type of cooperative formed 
by employees of industrial and retail firms and other natural groups, 
such as farmers, teachers, municipal employees, etc. Members of the 
credit union pay money into the organization, which is in turn loaned 
to members in the form of installment loans. 

The first credit union in Neenah was organized in August of 1934. 
Since that date nine additional groups organized, two of which subse- 
quently liquidated. As of December, 1956, total assets of all credit 
unions operating in Neenah amounted to $2,224,321.00. As of the 
same date, there were 680 credit unions operating throughout the state 
of Wisconsin. 

Neenah-Menasha Finance Company ( Thorp Finance Company) 

The Neenah-Menasha Finance Company was organized in the latter 
part of 1926 and opened an office to transact a small loan business 



1 82 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



early in 1927. The original officers were E. E. Lampert, President; 
Dr. George Korkin, Vice President; Reginald E. Sanders, Secretary- 
Treasurer and Manager. Mr. Sanders served in this capacity during 
the entire life of the company. In 1949 the company was purchased 
by Thorp Finance Company, who are continuing the business at 120 
North Commercial Street, just north of the original location. 



‘Rock Finance Company 

The Rock Finance Company, of Green Hay, Wisconsin, opened a 
branch in Neenah in 1947, known as Stone Loan Company, located at 
104 North Commercial Street. Later the name was changed to Rock 
Finance Company, and the office was moved to the ground floor at 
1 1 1 North Commercial Street. 



BLACKSMITHING 



Johnson & Myhre , Blacksmiths 



The American scene lost something picturesque and so characteristic 
of an earlier day when the blacksmith shop passed from view. These 
shops made and repaired all sorts of metal equipment for the home, 
farm and industry, such as wagons, sleighs, buggies, and many other 
useful items. Horseshoeing was a specialty; shoes and nails were made 
by hand. 

We are indebted to Olaf A. Myhre for the following sketch. Olaf 
relates that his father, Ole, coming to this region in Neenah’s early 
days, walked from Neenah to Stevens Point and back to determine 
where he would locate. He never regretted, Olaf says, that he chose 
Neenah. 



“It was in 1866 that Evan Johnson and Ole O. Myhre bought the 
property now occupied by the Wieckert Lumber Company office, 
setting up a partnership in the blacksmithing business. During the 
’8os Johnson sold his interest to Myhre, who continued until his 
death April 12, 1904, when his son, Olaf, took over, merging with the 
J. W. Hewitt Machine Company in 1914.” 

Following is Olaf s listing of the blacksmiths who have served Nee- 
nah across the years: 



Pat McNary 

William Schumann 

August Raddatz 

Henry and George Julius 

John Sturm 

Lauritz Nielson 

Max Thermansen 



Charles Bergstrom 
Johnson & Myhre 
Bill Butterfield 
Tom Hurley 
Hans Oleson 
Fred and Will Mason 
John Bergstrom 



BOYHOOD DAYS IN NEENAH 



When Ed Cochran, Editor of the !h(ews -Record, was assembling ma- 
terial for his 75th anniversary number, which appeared on June 20, 
1956, he asked a former Neenah boy, Kendrick Kimball, to give him 
something on his boyhood days in the city of his birth. Kendrick, 
presently Out-doors Editor of the Detroit !Mews y is the son of L. H. 
Kimball, a former owner and editor of the INeenah Daily !J\(ews y a fore- 
runner of the 3 s(ews -Record. 

Kendrick's boyhood escapades remind one of the “Adventures of 
Huckleberry Finn." He, with John Studley and others, roamed the 
streets of Neenah during the first two decades of this century. Here, 
in part, are Kendrick’s memoirs: 

It seemed inevitable that I work upon the staff of the Neenah Daily News. The 
paper was founded by Arthur R. Bowron, son of Frances Kimball Bowron, and he 
sold it a few months later to his uncle, Leonard H. Kimball, my grandfather. 

On The News I received primary instruction in journalism, and experiences illu- 
mining my later years with many pleasant memories. 

The instruction was primary, and somewhat primitive in view of modern ad- 
vances. I was city editor during summer vacations from Neenah High School and 
at various other intervals from 1912 to * 18, and also during this period was employed 
by The Neenah Times . 

The city editor was the reporter who met the trains, attended weddings and 
chronicled whatever local event seemed worthy of publication. The News y then 
under guidance of the J. R. Bloom family, was equipped with an underslung type- 
writer nobody but an acrobat or someone with extra-sensory perception could op- 
erate. Therefore it was necessary to write all copy in longhand, an endeavor creating 
a bunion on the index figure as an occupational hazard. 

Russell House Stood Out 

Just after the turn of the century Neenah was a vastly different community than 
its present bustling self. Its most prominent physical characteristics in the downtown 
area were the Russell House, later Hotel Neenah, distinguished by an imposing 
row of brass cuspidors in the lobby, and the city hall, unchanged outwardly by the 
stress of the decades. 

Along the business section were such names as Schimpt, Seatoft, Dahms, Paepke, 
Sam Thompson, who operated a sample room; Finnegan, Witte, Jandrey, Gaffney, 
Koepsel, Reynold’s Honey Bee, Courtney, Neudeck, Draheim and Pingel, Sokup, 
Prebensen, Sorensen, Hanson, Marsh, Boehm and Leutnegger. 

Elwers, Haertl, the Larsen barber shop and a few others were still there on my 
last visit. 



BOYHOOD DAYS IN NEENAH 



185 

Perhaps the most outstanding merchant on Wisconsin avenue was Miss Sadie 
Edgarton, operator of a clutter of shops at the site of the Valley Inn. Miss Edgarton 
collected second-hand articles as an obsession, and one could buy anything from a 
nutmeg grater to a corn shredder in her establishments. She maintained a horse 
named Salisbury and Joe Rickey, groom and deliveryman, graced by a red nose 
that shone like a beacon. 

India n Shoe Shiner 

Gene Forney, Neenah’s most authentic Indian, shined shoes in a shanty near the 
telephone company offices, and the most persistent adornments of North Com- 
mercial street were Patsy Callahan in an indestructible checkered suit, Charles 
“Crock” Jagerson, the various Kelly brothers, and “Punch” Relyea, who sang 
“I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” at the band concerts in the pavilion in Riverside 
Park. He blew them all summer without fail. 

Fires Were Exciting 

The most compelling events in town were fires and the Memorial Day parade. 

All the nearby dray teams galloped to the city hall to pull the fire equipment for 
a $5 fee, and at times the spectacle resembled the chariot race in “Ben Hur.” The 
bell was rung by a long rope and its clamor brought forth the volunteer department 
from roofs and out of manholes and cellars. 

Decoration Day parades started from Michelsen’s Hall on South Commercial 
Street beside Estvad’s Danish Bakery. Some of the G.A.R. Boys in Blue became 
sufficiently impressed with the patriotic responsibilities of the event to take on a 
hefty ballast of bourbon. They were commanded on several occasions by an indi- 
vidual accused by wags of leading the retreat at the Battle of Bull Run, and quitting 
the hostilities with such haste and determination that he tromped down a good por- 
tion of the Union Cavalry barring his way. 

Krieger Fere in Next 

Behind the G.A.R. strode the Krieger Verein in precise formation — ein, zwei, 
drei, fier and headed by Capt. Dieckoff carrying a sword that seemed 8 feet long. 
The veterans of the Franco- Prussian War did excellently until they reached Hotel 
Jasperson, wooden structure beside the city hall, where they became targets of 
snide remarks from the Danish Brotherhood, some of whom served against Germany 
in the war resulting in annexation of Schleswig-Holstein. It was all in good fun, of 
course. 

The Danes accused their former adversaries of preparing themselves for the mili- 
tary demonstration by saluting the picture of the Kaiser for several hours in the 
Sons of Herman Hall. 

Neenah relied on a speed cop, Art Nelson, to curb motorists when they flaunted 
contempt of the law by exceeding the 15-mile limit. Officer Nelson hauled the of- 
fenders before Justice S. D. “Denny” Baird, who imposed a 513.98 fine with 
solemnity and grave judicial deportment. Public transportation between the park 
and cemetery was vested with “Bert” Rhoades and the “dinky,” a street car scarcely 
larger than a peanut roaster. 



1 86 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



When fun-loving citizens jumped up and down on the rear platform, the “dinky's” 
rear wheels quitted the tracks as an unfailing custom. 

Home-Spun “ Crime IVave” 

Neenah has never undergone a crime wave to our knowledge. The closest ap- 
proach was in 1914 or thereabouts, and purely artificial. It was engineered by 
John A. Studley, then with The Times , founded by his grandfather Capt. J. N. 
Stone, and this reporter. Its purpose was to create something worthwhile to write 
about. 

All we had was births, passing of old settlers, reports of the street, highway and 
bridge committee to the city council, someone with a 1 2-foot sunflower in his back 
yard, discovery by Toby Kuehl of a tarantula spider in a stalk of bananas, and 
similar matters not calculated to accelerate the civic pulse. 

We started by turning in a phony fire alarm. The home of Charles Lee on the 
island was allegedly in the throes of a conflagration. The department found it com- 
pletely aloof from flames, and next day we each published an indignant story of 
miscreants hoodwinking our defenders of public safety. 

Our next venture could have been devastating. We obtained a 6-foot sky rocket, 
placed it on the car tracks at the head of Wisconsin avenue, and touched it off with 
the hope it would roar down the business section like a guided missile, and provoke 
a few runaways, and much scampering for safety by Saturday night shoppers. But 
the rocket was misaimed and fizzed out harmlessly in front of Harry Frank's cream- 
ery. 

Became More Ambitious 

Our next adventure was more ambitious. We both ran a fake story of the dis- 
covery of an overturned rowboat on Lake Winnebago, and it prompted the theory 
that someone had drowned. Then we hastened to Henry B. Sande, sales manager for 
the Anspach department store, for advice and assistance. 

Sande was a “live wire" in the parlance of the day. He perpetrated 9 cent sales 
and advertised them by painting the numeral 9 on rocks in the river during the low 
water. For relaxation and amusement he tore out a few slats in the fence protecting 
the luscious garden of Sam Wing, laundryman. Sande then laid a trail of corn from 
the fence to the Kussman livery barn, and soon the Kussman chickens, with appe- 
tites of eagles, were tearing up the garden. 

Sam bolted out of the laundry screaming imprecations in Chinese and throwing 
flatirons at the chickens, and when he repaired the fence Sande shot him repeatedly 
in the pants from the Anspach roof with an airgun. 

People Horrified 

Sande made a dummy of a sack of straw, adorned it with a shirt, suit coat, false 
face and a derby hat, and floated the hoax down the mill race during the noon hour. 
A pair of white canvas gloves dangled from extended arms. The bridge traffic was 
horrified and several women were on the verge of fainting over entry of the supposed 
corpse into the placid routine of their existence. 



BOYHOOD DAYS IN NEENAH 



1 87 



Officer Henry Bando strode manfully to the scene, fished out the dummy at the 
rear of the McCann a hotel and restaurant, and burst into unprintable language 
when he saw what his pike pole had secured. 

The Neenah press had a lot of fun describing that one. 

We almost got into trouble with our next adventure. Studley and this reporter 
enlisted the aid of J. Dudleigh Young and Jim Christofferson, obtained black masks 
from Sande, a big nickel-plated and triggerless revolver, and held up the late Harry 
Johnson on South Commercial street as he was plodding home with $7 gleaned as 
lather boy in the Larsen barber shop. This reporter extracted the $7 from Johnson’s 
pocket as Christofferson brandished the revolver, ran down Church street, then to 
the Drake cigar, billiard and culture center on North Commercial street to await 
developments. 

They were immediate. Officers Burr and Halvorson emerged from the murkiness 
of night with pistols in an uncertain grip. This reporter, pencil and paper in hand, 
and with Johnson’s $7 still in his pocket, followed them down the alley behind the 
Neenah opera house in their attempt to apprehend the criminals. But Christofferson, 
Young and Studley had achieved separate escapes. 

Search Freight Train 

Sheriff’s deputies stopped and searched a freight train at Snell’s station. Neenah 
police, with Chief Jim Brown and a big chaw of tobacco, began a hunt for clues. This 
reporter became alarmed, confessed to Ted Larsen, and Larsen produced Johnson, 
who entered a gleeful and forgiving mood upon repossession of his wages. 

As a cover-up, Studley sent him a wad of newspaper clippings in a letter with dis- 
guised handwritings, and Johnson informed police he had recovered his money, but 
not until the holdup had been splashed over the front pages of The News and The 
Times. Johnson, now a partner in the conspiracy, was unable to identify the robbers 
or give a consistent description. They were 7-feet tall one day, midgets the next. 

In a short time, however, truth emerged from the shadows of confusion and doubt. 
Art Woeckner, correspondence school detective, sleuthed out the identity of at least 
one of the bandits. While he was courting our hired girl on the kitchen steps, this 
reporter passed him with the masks in his hand to join Studley, Young and Chris- 
tofferson waiting outside. 

The next flight into crime ended unhappily. Foster Owens and this reporter ob- 
tained a brace of eggs from Johnson Bros, grocery (Gus Breitreiter, deliveryman) 
and tossed them over a billboard at the site of the Neenah State Bank into a crowd 
listening to a carnival band concert in front of Hotel Neenah. 

One egg hit a wire and its contents sliced over Banty Malone, attending the 
gathering in a white silk shirt with purple stripes. The band was playing “On the 
Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” Just as it was about to toot and bang its way into the 
chorus, the second egg lit squarely on the shoulder of the leader, and perched there 
like a rosette. 

“I’ll give $25 to anyone who tells me who did that,” roared the leader. 

Sam Wing saw the dastardly deed unfold, reported it to Chief Brown, who 
rounded up the culprits. He promised that if they paid a $1 fine to Justice Nels 
Jensen everything would be hush-hush. 



1 8 8 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Changed His Mind 

As we appeared confident and in a devil-may-care spirit before the court the 
telephone rang a summons, and Jim’s voice boomed ominously through the re- 
ceiver. 

“Give them the works, judge. That Kimball has been raising hell here all sum- 
>> 

mer. 

The warrant was a yard long and included disturbance of the peace, incitement to 
riot -almost everything in fact, from arson to treason — and we pleaded guilty with 
misgivings. 

“I hereby fine you $10 and costs,” proclaimed the court. 

Owens’ expression was that of a dying fawn, for he didn’t have $10, a plight shared 
by his associate. Owens obtained the sum from Clarence “Hink” Schultz, his em- 
ployer, and joined the Regular Army the following week to embark on a new and 
clean life. 

This reporter slunk back to 'Che News , where he was confronted by editor Bloom. 

“So you’ve been arrested and fined for throwing eggs?” he asked quietly. “You 
start out on this paper like a Horace Greeley and end up like Jesse James. Well, sit 
down and write the full particulars.” 

It was the toughest assignment we ever had. 



CEMETERIES 



Oak Hill Qemetery 

Harvey Jones, during his brief life in Neenah, from the spring of 
1848 to his death in November, 1849, made a gift of five acres for 
cemetery purposes. This was the beginning of the present Oak Hill 
cemetery. 

Following Jones’ gift came these additions: 

1868 — by gift from William Merriman, acreage not specified. 

1875 — bought from William Tipler for Si, 200, acreage not specified. 

1879 — bought from Benjamin Freeman, acreage not specified. 

1888 — by gift from Clara A. Shattuck, the Merriman homestead on land 
now occupied by chapel and vault 
1924 — bought from John Grimes, 17 acres at $500 per acre. 

1924 — four citizens of Neenah joined in a project to regrade the cemetery, 
fence it and erect an ornamental gateway, build chapel and vault. 
Approximate cost of gift, Si 00,000. 

Basic charges for perpetual care: 

Residents of Neenah pay- 

For a single grave — S4C 
For a 4-grave lot — Si 78 
For a 6-grave lot — S217 
For an 8-grave lot -S258 

Non-residents pay — 

For a single grave — S50 
For a 4-grave lot^-S2i8 
For a 6-grave lot — $277 
For an 8-grave lot — S338 

Cemetery deficits currently range between $17,000 and $19,000 per 
year, cared for out of taxes. 



Memorial "Park Cemetery 

The founders of Greenlawn Memorial Park, located just south of 
Neenah on Highway 41, had an ideal and a purpose. 

189 



190 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



The ideal was to build a memorial park of natural beauty, where all 
burials are in equal dignity, and where ever-growing trees and shrubs 
are creating and recreating a living memorial. 

The purpose of the founders was to provide a beautiful and digni- 
fied resting place for all creeds and sects, while at the same time creat- 
ing a memorial that would provide comfort for the living. 

The park proper is set well back from the highway and is framed 
by an extensive expanse of lawn sloping toward the roadway. 

This park is the first and only memorial park cemetery serving the 
Neenah-Menasha area. 



B\ Francis Hauser 



THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF 
NEENAH-MENASHA 

1 12 West Wisconsin Avenue 



During the first half of the twentieth century, several businessmen’s 
associations were started in Neenah, but none of them existed for more 
than a few months or a few years, due principally to lack of proper 
organization for sustaining their activities. 

In 1940, a group of Neenah businessmen formed the Chamber of 
Commerce of Neenah. Otto Lieber was elected the first president. A 
young attorney, Elmer Radtke, acted as part-time secretary for about 
a year, and, when he left the city, the Chamber hired William Pfrang 
as a full-time secretary. Mr. Pfrang served until May, 1942, when he 
resigned to join the Armed Forces in World War II. 

Don W. Colburn was hired then as a full-time secretary, and served 
until his resignation in November, 1955. John C. Konrad succeeded 
him in February, 1956. 

In 1946 the Directors of the Neenah Chamber invited Menasha 
businessmen and firms to join with them, and, early in that year, rein- 
corporated the Chamber into a Twin City organization, changing the 
name to “The Chamber of Commerce of Neenah-Menasha.” Since 
that time, the Chamber has operated with an equal number of busi- 
nessmen and firms from each city on its Board of Directors, and has 
alternated the presidency from one city to the other. 

Its activities from 1946 to date have been on a true Twin City 
basis, in the belief we are one community, and should work to the best 
interests of all concerned. 



W. R. Werner 
H. E. Christoph 
S. N. Pickard 
S. F. Shattuck 
N. J. Williams 
J. M. Wheeler 
J. R. Ward 



Otto Lieber, Jr, 
Rudy Lotz 



Chamber of Commerce Presidents 

1940- 41 E. E. Jandrey 

1941- 42 Stuart Thompson 

1942- 43 G. E. Sande 

1943- 44 A. C. Hidde, Jr. 

1944- 45 G. H. Cameron 

1945- 46 Ray J. Fink 

1946- 47 George E. Elwers 

1947- 48 Dedric W. Bergstrom 

1948- 49 David Ryan 



1949- 50 

1950- 51 

1 95 1 - 52 

• 952-53 

• 953-54 

• 954-55 

1955-56 

•956-57 

1957-58 



Compiled by Don Colburn 



191 



I92 A HISTORY OF NEENAH 

jA (eenah-Menasha Junior (Jhamber of (fommerce 

The Neenah-Menasha Junior Chamber of Commerce is a civic organ- 
ization for young men between the ages of 21 and 35, inclusive. The 
group is dedicated to four objectives: 

1. To make the community a better place in which to live. 

2. To develop leadership among the members of the organization. 

3. To offer education, recreation and social activities to men of similar age. 

4. To give young men a voice in the affairs of their community, state and 
nation. 



In short, the Junior Chamber of Commerce is an organization of 
young men learning civic consciousness through constructive action! 

This organization, in existence for eleven years, was formed in 1945 
by the union of the Menasha Junior Chamber of Commerce, founded 
in 1935, and the Neenah Junior Chamber of Commerce, founded in 
1 939. Today it is one of over 2,500 chapters which make up the United 
States Junior Chamber. The local group is tied to the national 
through a very fine state organization. 

It was on January 23, 1939, that the Neenah group started out at 
an organizational meeting at the Valley Inn. The first officers of this 
group were: 



President 

1st Vice President 

2nd Vice President 

Secretary 

Treasurer 

State Director 



Elmer H. Radtke 
Norman Greenwood 
Arthur Weston 
Leo Koffarnus 
A 1 Reetz 
Donald Colburn 



Other members who were directors during the first year were: John 
Catlin, Gordon Drews, George Pyott, Donald Christensen. 

One of the first projects adopted by the Neenah Jaycees was the 
establishment of a Retail Committee to promote local business. This 
committee was very active and highly respected by Neenah mer- 
chants. It was this committee that laid the groundwork for the estab- 
lishment of the Neenah Chamber of Commerce in May of 1940, at 
which time it turned over its records and funds to the newly formed 
Chamber. The first secretary of the Chamber was Elmer H. Radtke, 
who was the first president of the Jaycees. Today the Neenah-Me- 



C II A MBElt O F C () M M K R C K 



>9J 



nasha Chamber and Jaycees continue to work together toward a better 
community. 

The Jaycees have worked on many projects over the years. Some of 
them have become firmly established parts of our community life. In 
the field of public safety there are Fire Prevention, driver safety 
through the annual Teen Age Safe Driving Road-e-o and semi-annual 
spot checks of automobiles. All safety projects are run in cooperation 
with Neenah and Menasha Fire and Police Departments. 

The annual Voice of Democracy Contest promotes interest in good 
government in the three local high schools. The outstanding young 
high school men and one outstanding young adult are honored at the 
annual Distinguished Awards Dinner. Local tennis and golf tourna- 
ments are highly popular summer events, and the annual Marathon 
Mile Swim has established the Twin Cities on a national scale in the 
swim world. The wonderful July 4 spectacle — the Venetian Parade- 
introduced in 1954 by Chief Stilp and the Police Department was 
undertaken jointly with the Jaycees in 1956. 

Compiled by James Staujf 



CHURCH HISTORY 



COMPILED BY MRS. HELEN CLARK RITGER 

s Assembly of (fod Tente costal 

A group of people were gathered together by Miss Olga Wisthof in 
September, 1937, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bethke. There- 
after, families met in homes of members, conducting prayer meetings 
and Bible Study, until 1939, when the church at 502 South Commer- 
cial Street was purchased from the Scandinavian Lutheran organiza- 
tion. 

The following pastors have served the church: Rev. Carl Erickson, 
Rev. Devore Walterman, Rev. David Wakefield, Rev. Allan McKel- 
lips, Rev. Darrell Meyrer, Rev. Hardy L. Thompson. Rev. A. R. 
Portinga is the present pastor. 

The General Council of the Assemblies of God was organized in Hot 
Springs, Arkansas, in 1914. Though the movement is young, the 
church in Neenah is one of 7,514 churches in the United States. 



(falvary baptist 

Five Neenah men, W. J. Garfield, Elbert S. Shumway, E. J. Nuss- 
bicker, Oscar Sindahl and Clyde Smith, were the founders of this 
church, originally known as the First Fundamental Church of Neenah. 
It had been incorporated as the “Union Gospel Tabernacle” in 1931. 
This group of men held meetings in the homes of members. In 1931 
they took over the church which was, years ago, used by the Nor- 
wegian Methodists, corner of Isabella and Caroline Streets. 

The first pastor of the church was the Rev. W. G. Wittenborn, who 
served the congregation from 1931 to 1940, and during his time, ar- 
rangements were made to purchase the former Norwegian Methodist 
Church, and the congregation took the name of the “First Funda- 
mental Church.” Rev. A. A. Bandow served as pastor 1940-1949. 

Since the church is Baptistic in nature, the name was formally 
changed to Calvary Baptist Church in November, 1955. 

During recent years larger quarters have been necessary, and a wing 



194 



CHURCH HISTORY 



195 



was added to the church. Because of its steady growth, the church 
purchased the property of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, on Isabella 
Street, in 1955. This includes the Church Building and the Parsonage, 
now occupied by this congregation. Tentative plans are to use the 
former church building for Sunday School purposes and a youth cen- 
ter. 

The present membership of the church is 120; average Sunday 
School attendance is 1 50. 

The present pastor is the Rev. Roland Aggers, who has been serv- 
ing since 1952. 

Church of (fhrist 

The Church of Christ began meeting in Neenah, October, 1949, with 
two families, the Lloyd Caters, 144 Fourth Street, and Paul Butter- 
fields, rural Neenah. The first meeting place was the voting precinct 
house, corner Van and Adams Streets. 

Others were added to the group, until the congregation grew to forty 
adult members in 1955. 

Since members lived throughout Fox River cities, it was decided to 
build centrally in Appleton, at the corner of Badger School Road and 
Spencer Road, near Highway 41. Phis building was erected in 1954 
and will seat about 125. 

Reverend James R. Wilburn began work with the group in 1953, 
and still continues with them to the present time. 



First Church of Christ Scientist 

The First Church of Christ Scientist, Neenah, began through the 
loyalty of Mrs. Sarah E. Heywood to the teachings of Mary Baker 
Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science. 

A small group of interested persons gathered for services Sunday 
mornings, 1897, at the home of Stephan B. Morgan. Beginning June, 
1900, services were held in the parlors of the Universalist Church, 
North Commercial Street, Neenah. In May, 1906, the Hall at 113 
West Wisconsin Avenue was secured for services. Wednesday evening 
services were begun, and in 1910 a Sunday School was formed. 



A II I S T O R Y () F N K K N A II 



I96 

The Trinity Episcopal Church property, 229 East Wisconsin Ave- 
nue, was purchased in 1915. In November of that same year a Read- 
ing Room was opened in the church building. Reading Rooms were 
later established in buildings on West Wisconsin Avenue. The present 
Reading Room, open to the public, was opened April 12^ 1954, on the 
ground floor at 107 Church Street. 

In 1955 the old church building was torn down and a new one 
erected on the same location. This new church, of red brick, Georgian 
style, was ready for occupancy Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 
1956, and was open to the public December 2, 1956. 

Church services are conducted by two Readers, who are elected by 
the membership every three years. One reads from the Bible, and the 
other reads from the Christian Science Textbook, by Mary Baker 
Eddy. 



First Cvangelical United ‘Brethren 

This congregation outgrew its little church on the Island where the 
Roosevelt School now stands, corner of East Forest Avenue and Sec- 
ond Street, on land presented to the congregation by ex-Governor 
Doty. According to early records, this was the 1 ' first Protestant church 
building erected in Neenah-Menasha, in 1859. 

In 1890 a larger church was built on the corner of Bond Street and 
West Forest Avenue, when Rev. G. F. Kickhoefer was pastor. The 
present parsonage adjoining the church was built in 1916. 

Rev. Jacob Schneller served as pastor 1 898- 1902, and the Schneller 
family took root in Neenah. Parishioners will recall Rev. Carl Zietlow, 
Rev. Roy Berg and Rev. K. S. Knoespel, who served before Rev. 
Hayes, the present pastor, who came in 1955. 

The congregation grew steadily, and it was decided to build an addi- 
tion and remodel the church, as more room was needed. The “new” 
church was dedicated in June, 1940. 

Due to the union of the two denominations — the Evangelical 
Church and the United Brethren Church, November 16, 1946, the 
local church became known as the First Evangelical United Brethren 
Church. 




Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church 



St. Margaret- Mary’s Catholic Church 



First Methodist Church 



1 




' ill 




4 >4 




1 z 





St. Thomas Episcopal Church 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



I98 

This church observed the 100th birthday of its founding in October, 
1 9 56. 

The present membership is 326, with a Sunday School enrollment 
of 180. 



First Methodist (fhurch 

The First Methodist Church, formally organized in 1849, continued 
to expand rapidly after it moved into the “Old School” Presbyterian 
Church building on East Wisconsin Avenue, which it purchased in 
1874. The present property on the corner of Doty Avenue and South 
Commercial Street was purchased and a new structure was built and 
dedicated in 1906. 

The Clayton Church (an out-charge of Neenah), the Neenah Danish 
and the Menasha Methodist Churches were closed, and their members 
joined the First Methodist Church. 

Early in 1937 a disastrous fire destroyed the church building, neces- 
sitating the construction of the present church, which was dedicated 
in 1939. 

The church observed its centennial in 1949, while the Rev. Roy 
Steen was pastor. Present pastor is the Rev. Norman S. Ream. A 
former pastor, Dr. Ira Schlagenhauf, is Associate Pastor. 

The congregation numbers 1,050; the Sunday School enrollment is 
500. 

Ministers of the Neenah Methodist Church 

1849 — William H. Sampson 1874 — W. J. Olmstead 

1850- 56 — Attached to another charge 1875 J. T. Woodhead 
1856 — Albert Baker 

1859 — Supply unknown 

1860 — Samuel Lugg 
i860 — A. Foster 
1863 — C. W. Brooks 
1866 — T. C. Wilson 

1868 — L. L. Knox 

1869 — Thomas Walker 

1870 — J. H. Gaskill 

1871 — J. H. Waldron 
1873 M. G. Bristol 



1877 — N. J. Aplin 
1879 — L. F. Cole 
1881 — G. W. Horton 

1883 — C. M. Heard 

1884 — T. C. Wilson 
1887 — J. S. Lean 
1890 — S. Joliffe 

J. H. Tippett 
S. Schneider 
J. D. Cole 

1901 James E. Garrett 



CHURCH HISTORY 



I99 



1906 — Rev. Drew 
1909 — Rev. Turner 
1914 — Rev. Hey wood 
1922 — Ira Schlagenhauf 
1927 — T. Reykdall 
1932 — Rev. Matthews 



1934- Rev. Perry 

1935 — Henry Johnson 
1939— W. A. Riggs 
1948 — Roy P. Steen 
1953 — Norman S. Ream 




First Tresbyterian Qhurch 

Organization of the First Presbyterian Church of Neenah goes back 
to December 1 5, 1848, two years after this area, then known as Winne- 
bago Rapids, was opened to public sale. The year before (1847) a 
Congregational Church had been organized by Reverend O. P. Clin- 
ton. Later, the Congregational group merged with the Presbyterian 
congregation. The first meeting of the newly-formed Presbyterian 
Church was in a large room over the store of Yale & Jones, which 
stood on the site of Shattuck Park. This room was used until 1852, 
when a church was built in the 30x0 block of East Wisconsin Avenue. 

Pastors serving since 1848: 

1848-1853 — Reverend H. M. Robertson 
1854-1861— Reverend J. H. Rosseel 
1861-1864 — Reverend H. B. Thayer 
1864-1867- Reverend A. A. Dinsmore 
1867-1869 — Reverend J. C. Kelly 



First Presbyterian Church, dedicated in 1901. This building took the place of a wooden structure built 
in 1864. On October 10, 1954, the new sanctuary on the southwest corner of the block to the east was 
dedicated, whereupon this edifice was demolished and the site was converted into a parking lot. 




First Presbyterian Church 



Immanuel’s Evangelical and Reformed Church 



Assembly of God Pentecostal 



Our Savior’s Lutheran Church 







CHURCH HISTORY 



201 



A nine-year division of the church occurred between i860 and 1869 
in which a Second Presbyterian Church was served by four pastors 
— Reverend J. E. Pond, Reverend H. G. McArthur, Reverend James 
Bassett and Reverend J. H. Walker. This congregation built a church 
on the corner of Smith and Church Streets. When the First and Second 
churches reunited, the combined group met in that church, enlarging 
it in 1871. 

Then came Reverend John E. Chapin, who stepped into the re- 
united congregation and served for thirty-three years, until he retired 
in 1903. Following I)r. Chapin, the pastors have been: 

1 903—1916 — Reverend John L. Marquis 
1916-1932 — Reverend D. C. Jones 
1932-1944 — Reverend W. R. Courtenay 
1944-1947— Reverend George T. Peters 
1947- — Reverend John E. Bouquet 

An Associate Pastor, Reverend Robert Ranch, served the church 
from January 15, 1956, to February 1, 1958. 

During the later years of Dr. Chapin’s pastorate, the need for a 
new church building was apparent. In 1901 the old structure was 
razed and a new one erected on the same site on the corner of Church 
and Smith Streets. 

Coming into the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, increasing member- 
ship and activities called for larger space. The west two-thirds of the 
block bounded by Church Street, Doty and Columbian Avenues, was 
acquired, on which the present edifice was constructed. The educa- 
tional wing, including chapel and Fellowship Hall, was dedicated in 
May, 1951. The present sanctuary, built on the southwest corner of 
Church Street and Columbian Avenue, was dedicated October 10, 
1954 - 

The Presbyterian Church observed its centennial in October- 
December, 1948. 

Church membership, as of July, 1957, is 1,570, and 795 are enrolled 
in the church school. 

The property on which the old church stood, while still owned by 
the church, is converted into a public parking lot, except for Sundays 
and on weekdays, when special services or large gatherings are sched- 
uled at the church. 



202 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Cjrace Evangelical Lutheran Qhurch 

On May 23, 1948, sixteen families of the Trinity Lutheran Church of 
Neenah organized the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church to help 
alleviate the overcrowded condition in their ever-increasing Trinity 
Church. Until the chapel on Cecil and Birch Streets was dedicated on 
December 1 1, 1949, Grace Congregation conducted its services in the 
Recreation Building, South Park Avenue. 

Grace congregation now numbers approximately 100 families. Rev. 
W. F. Wichmann is the pastor. A long range program includes erection 
of its own school, a parsonage on Birch and Cecil Streets, and a church 
building. The present chapel will then become a parish hall. 



Immanuel' s Evangelical and Reformed Qhurch 

Immanuel’s congregation continued to occupy the first church, which 
they purchased from the English Methodists in 1874, located at the 
corner of Oak Street and Doty Avenue, until 1909. In that year the 
present church building was erected, during the pastorate of Rev. 
August Kleinhans who served 1879-1920. In 1924-25, an addition 
was built to the present building, during the pastorate of Rev. Emil 
Kollath, who served the church from 1922-45. Rev. Kollath was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. Otto Scheib, 1945-52. 

Immanuel’s congregation officially united with the Evangelical 
Church of North America in 1925, and became known as Immanuel’s 
Evangelical and Reformed Church, when this denomination merged 
with the Reformed Church of the United States in 1934. 

Previous to this event, the congregation of Immanuel’s Church had 
no denominational affiliation, existing for almost fifty years as an 
independent congregation, and had carried its history under several 
names. 

A remodeling program was carried out in 1953, with a rededication 
service October, 1953. 

The present membership of Immanuel’s Church stands at 471 indi- 
viduals, with Rev. H. E. Norenberg serving as their pastor since 1952. 



CHURCH HISTORY 



20,3 



Martin J^uther Evangelical jQutheran Qhurch 

Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church is among the 
newer congregations in Neenah, having been organized December 15, 
1941, as a mission church of Trinity Lutheran Church. It consisted of 
families formerly affiliated with the Trinity Church and newcomers to 
Neenah on the west side of the city. Temporary quarters were the 
Fourth Ward Voters’ Poll, located on the corner of Van and Adams 
Streets. Rev. A. F. Geiger was the organizing pastor, who remained 
through 1945. 

In March, 1942, property on the northeast corner of South Lake 
and Adams Streets was purchased for a building site. Because of 
building restrictions in effect during World War 11 , all building activ- 
ity had to be delayed. 

By November, 1947, the first church was completed. The permanent 
church was built in 1955, and dedication services were held Sunday, 
June 17, 1956. The first church was then converted into an educational 
building, and opened in the fall of 1957. 

The present pastor is Rev. Paul G. Hartwig, who began serving in 
January, 1946. The present membership is 546. 



Our Savior s J^utheran Qliurch 

The congregation of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church grew steadily and 
flourished after its organization in 1872. The little white church on 
Torrey Street was no longer adequate, and, in the early ’80s, property 
was purchased on Isabella Street. The little white church was moved 
to this location, and a front addition was added, plus other improve- 
ments. 

During the next ten years the membership increased, and it was 
deemed necessary to build a new and much larger church, which was 
formally dedicated in 1905. 

The demand for worship services in the English language increased, 
and consequently two services were held each Sunday morning, one in 
Danish and the other in English. Now, for the past fifteen or twenty 
years, services have been conducted entirely in English. 




First Evangelical United Brethren Church 



St. Paul’s Lutheran Church 



St. Patrick’s Catholic Church 



Trinity Lutheran Church 



CHURCH HISTORY 



205 

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church had been in this same location for 
51 years, but in 1955 the church and parsonage on Isabella Street were 
sold to the Calvary Baptist congregation. A new house of worship was 
erected on the corner of South Commercial and Meade Streets, and 
dedication ceremonies were held Sunday, July 1, 1956. 

Church membership is 535 baptized members. 

The first full-time pastor was the Rev. N. Thomsen, who served 
until 1880. He was followed by the Revs. Thomas Helvig, A. Hansen, 
J. N. Jersild, H. P. Jensen, J. Soe, C. C. Kloth, M. N. Andreason, 
J. A. Larsen, A. Jensen, A. H. Andersen, and the present pastor, 
Paul G. Rasmussen, who came to the church in 1951. 



Saint Margaret-Mary' s Catholic Church 

The congregation of St. Margaret-Mary’s came into being by an offi- 
cial letter of the late Most Reverend Paul Peter Rhode, then Bishop 
of Green Bay, and dated May 4, 1932. The Rev. Joseph Van Bogart 
was appointed its first pastor and organizer. Divine services were 
first held in St. Patrick’s Church, Menasha, for members of the newly 
formed parish. 

The first meeting was held, on May 17, 1932, and it was decided to 
incorporate the parish under the Wisconsin statutes. On September 
12 ground was broken for the combined church and rectory at the 
corner of Divison and Reed Streets. 

First masses in the new church were offered Easter Sunday morn- 
ing, April 16, 1933, in the basement social hall. On Sunday, July 11, 
of the same year, St. Margaret Mary’s Church was solemnly dedicated 
by Bishop Rhode. 

Father Van Bogart was a most zealous leader, but his health be- 
came impaired and he left Neenah in 1938. He died in 1946 at Holy 
Cross Church, Mishicot. 

Father Van Bogart was succeeded by the present pastor, the Rev. 
Joseph P. Glueckstein. During his pastorate, the church debt was 
liquidated in 1941. During the early ’50s another extensive building 
program was launched, resulting in a parochial grade school, Sisters’ 



206 



A HISTORY OF N KEN AH 



Convent, and, finally, a modern gymnasium. The Rev. Willard C. 
McKinnon came as Asst. Pastor in 1950, remaining through 1957. 
Father James Craanen succeeds Father McKinnon. 

St. Margaret-Mary’s parish at present numbers over 1,000 families, 
or about 3,500 persons. 

St. 'Patrick's £ at ho lie Qhurch 

This church, located on Nicolet Boulevard, Menasha, served Catholic 
Church members in Neenah until 1933, when St. Margaret Mary’s 
Church was built. This church was known as St. Charles Borromeo 
until 1 883, when it was destroyed by fire. A new church was then built 
on the same location, and the name changed to St. Patrick’s. 

Its first pastor was Father William DeKelver, who served thirty- 
one years, 1884-1915, when he retired. He was succeeded by Father 
George A. Clifford, 1915-1932, and Father William Mortell, 1932- 
1939. The present pastor is Father Joseph Ahearn, who has served 
since 1939. St. Patrick’s parish at present numbers over 1 ,000 families. 
The present school was built in 1940. 

St. Paul' s English Evangelical pjitheran Qhurch 

There were five Evangelical Lutheran Congregations in Neenah- 
Menasha, not one of which used the English language in conducting 
services of worship. A missionary pastor at Oshkosh, Rev. William C. 
Stump, came to Neenah in the spring of 1912, and arrangements were 
made for services to be held in a small chapel owned by the Norwegian 
Lutherans, located on Bond Street near High Street. The church was 
organized Sept. 22, 1912. 

This small chapel was purchased in 1913 and services were held 
there regularly. A rapidly growing congregation called for larger 
quarters. The present location, corner North Commercial and West 
North Water Streets, was secured in 19 14. St. Paul’s Evangelical 
Lutheran Church was dedicated May 21, 1916. Rev. A. J. Sommer 
was the first pastor, and served for fourteen years. Mr. Sommer was 
followed by Rev. Chas. E. Fritz, who served from 1927-1935. 



CHURCH HISTORY 



207 



Property to the north on Commercial Street and west on West 
North Water Street has since been acquired. An expansion program 
was necessary, and St. Paul’s Church underwent extensive remodeling. 
This was completed and dedication of the new, enlarged and com- 
pletely remodeled church took place April 15, 1956. 

St. Timothy Lutheran Congregation, Menasha, was organized in 
1945, to aid in the expansion program, and as a convenience to church 
members residing in Menasha. 

On September 8, 1957, St. Mark’s Mission church was organized, 
and is meeting at 700 Main Street. Rev. Charles Luhn is pastor, with 
1 50 adult members comprising the congregation. 

Rev. Samuel H. Roth came to the church in 1936, serving until his 
retirement in 1957. Rev. Arthur R. Tingley, formerly Associate Pas- 
tor, who came to the parish in 1954, was named Pastor. 

The baptized membership is 1,975. 

St. Thomas Episcopal Qhurch 

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, located symbolically almost on the 
line between Neenah and Menasha, came into being in 1915. Prior to 
that, two congregations existed, St. Stephen’s in Menasha, and Trin- 
ity in Neenah. The Menasha church had its beginning in 1857, when 
the first Episcopal services were conducted in that city by Reverend 
Charles C. Edmonds, of Green Bay. The Neenah church, Trinity, 
owes its origin to the missionary activities of St. Stephen’s priests, 
who conducted occasional services in Neenah, resulting in the organi- 
zation of a congregation in April, 1868. The Neenah congregation 
erected a modest church structure in 1869, on the corner of East 
Franklin and Walnut Streets. Failing to achieve adequate financial 
and numerical strength as separate organizations, the decision was 
reached in 1915 to combine. 

Among the first acts of the combined parishes was purchase of the 
Ballou property on Washington Street, Menasha, for use as a rectory 
and parish hall. The new church building was begun in the fall of that 
year (1915) and the finished edifice was consecrated on May 14 of the 
following year. Membership of the congregation in 1915 comprised 81 



208 



A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



families and individuals, 197 baptized persons and 93 communicants. 

Rectors in order of succession were: 

Rev. Herbert A. Wilson 1915-1917 Rev. Albert A. Chambers 

Rev. W. G. Studwell 1917-1920 Rev. Herman A. Berngen 

Rev. Raymond A. Heron 1920-1925 Rev. Crawford W. Brown 

Rev. Gordon A. Fowkes 1926-1932 Rev. John B. Reinheimer 

Rev. Malcolm J. VanZandt 1932-1936 Rev. Thomas K. Chaffee 

Rev. Leonard G. Mitchell (interim) 

A combination guild hall and gymnasium was erected to the north 
of the parish house in 1921. In 1954, thirty-three years later, the old 
parish house and gymnasium were razed and a new parish house 
erected. Thus the following year the educational and social activities 
of the congregation moved into a modern and enlarged home. 

As of 1956 family units and individuals totaled 251, with 541 bap- 
tized persons and church school enrollment of 155. 



1936-1942 
1 942- 1944 
(interim) 
I 945~ I 955 
1955- 



Seventh Day (-Adventist (‘hurch 

The Seventh Day Adventist Church, Neenah, came into existence in 
1885, and a church building was erected on the west side of Henry 
Street, near Caroline Street. The church was organized as a Danish 
Seventh Day Adventist, but later had services in English. 

Eld. J. C. Nielsen was one of the first Ministers, also Eld. H. R. 
Johnson. Some of the early leaders were Mr. Andrew Christensen, 
Mr. A. W. Jorgensen, Mr. Hans Sorensen, and Mr. Nels Burtelsen. 

The church had visiting ministers and local leaders part of the time. 
The young people moved away, the older members died, and those 
remaining joined the Appleton Seventh Day Adventist Church. The 
Neenah property was sold in 1943. 

Trinity jQutheran Qhurch 

Trinity Lutheran Church was organized on December 26, 1865 by 
Rev. E. F. Waldt. The little church, which the congregation had con- 
structed in 1867, on the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets, 
was not adequate to serve the fast-growing congregation, and, in 




Calvary Baptist Church 




Whiting Memorial Baptist Church 



Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church 




First Church of Christ Scientist 







210 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



1888, a new and much larger edifice was built and dedicated, on Oak 
Street, between Washington and East Franklin Avenue. It is still 
serving as their church. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Albert Froehlke, who served the church 
for 38 years, from 1897 to 1935, membership grew to more than a 
thousand individuals. After the first World War, both English and 
German services were conducted. For six years three services were 
conducted each Sunday. 

In 1941 Trinity called upon the Wisconsin Synod to establish a 
mission congregation. Today the Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran 
Church is a growing congregation of over 500 people. Further expan- 
sion was necessary, and Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church was or- 
ganized. 

The total membership of Trinity at the present time is approxi- 
mately 1,900, or about 675 families. 

Rev. E. C. Reim served the church from 1935-1940. Rev. Gerhard 
A. Schaefer is the present pastor, having served since 1940. 

Plans are in progress for erection of a new church, to be constructed 
on the same location. 

The school in connection with Trinity has always enjoyed a sound 
and steady growth. 

Universalist Qhurch 

The Universalist Church, also known as “The Church of The Good 
Shepherd,” had its own church building on the Island, near the divid- 
ing line on North Commercial Street, erected in 1867. The church had 
numerous pastors; a well-remembered one, Mrs. Mary J. DeLong, 
served for many years. A pew in the Washington, D. C., Universalist 
Church is dedicated to her memory. 

The church needed remodeling and repairs, and for some time meet- 
ings were held in the “little white church on the island,” corner of 
East Forest Avenue and Second Street, where Roosevelt School now 
stands. 

The former church building was rededicated in April, 1896, and 
Rev. Eddy served for several years. 



CHURCH HISTORY 



21 1 

Due to its declining membership, the church building was sold in 
1904 to Samuel A. Cook, who tore it down and built the present S. A. 
Cook Armory on the same site. 



Welsh (^hurches 

The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church was known as the “Brick 
Church” and was located on Division Street. Tt was organized in 
1848, with five members. There was no resident pastor, but services 
were held from time to time with visiting ministers from Oshkosh, 
Cambria, Randolph, Columbus, Wild Rose and other Welsh com- 
munities filling the pulpit. At about the turn of the century, services 
were discontinued and the members transferred to other churches. 

The Welsh Congregational Church was called the “White Church” 
and was located on East Columbian Avenue near Pine Street. There 
were about two dozen families making up the membership, and a 
Sabbath School of about 25 members was conducted jointly with the 
Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church. Many of the members attended 
other Protestant churches on Sunday mornings, and Welsh services 
were held on Sunday afternoons. Visiting ministers from neighboring 
Welsh churches conducted the services. This church was organized in 
1861 and continued to be active until about 1908, when services were 
discontinued and the members transferred to other local churches. 



Whiting Memorial baptist Qhurch 

The “Little White Church,” as it was known in the 1870’s and 1880’s, 
located on the east side of North Commercial Street midway between 
Nicolet Boulevard and the Northwestern railroad tracks, continued to 
serve as the house of worship for the Baptist Church of Menasha and 
Neenah until 1891. At this time the building was remodeled, and the 
name changed to Doty Island Baptist Church, during the pastorate 
of Rev. N. F. Clark. 

The Danish Baptist Church had been organized in 1867, services 
being held in the Brown schoolhouse, corner of Caroline and Isabella 



2 I 2 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Streets. Lay preacher members conducted the services, until in 1870, 
the Rev. Lars Knudson, from Denmark, came to be the first full-time 
pastor. He served until 1885. In 1876 a one-room church was built on 
the corner of Washington Avenue and Spruce Street. 

In 1898 the members of the Danish Baptist Church joined the 
Doty Island Baptist Church, and the name was changed to the Union 
Baptist Church of Neenah. The church building was then known as 
the “Little Red Church.” 

In 1916 George Whiting presented to the church the property on 
the corner of North Commercial and High Streets, and also a sub- 
stantial gift of money toward a new building. Mr. Whiting’s wife, 
Edna, was the daughter of the Rev. Oliver Babcock, who had served 
twice as pastor of the church, from 1867 to 1873, and from 1884 to 
1885. The new structure was dedicated in 1917 and the name changed 
again to “Memorial Baptist Church,” as a tribute to Mr. Whiting’s 
wife and mother. A disastrous fire damaged the building in 1922, but 
it was promptly restored. In 1925 Mr. Whiting made further gifts to 
the church and was persuaded to have his name incorporated into the 
name of the congregation, as “Whiting Memorial Baptist Church.” 

1951 was the Centennial Year of the Church, and the “100 years of 
Baptist Witness” was appropriately celebrated. 

The church is affiliated with the Wisconsin Baptist State Conven- 
tion and the American Baptist Convention. The present membership 
is close to 300, and the pastor is the Rev. K Aart Van Dam. 

Pastors serving the Whiting Memorial Baptist Church since 1898: 



1898 — S. M. Beeman 

1899 — P. S. Calvin 
1902 — Alfred Goodwin 
1910 — W. L. Clapp 

1 9 1 3- J. W. Johnson 
1 9 1 5 — F. L. Holden 



1918 — l . E. Gibson 
1937 — W. L. Harms 
1950 — A. G. Sinclair 
1953 — Theodore P'. Krause 
1958— K Aart Van Dam 




City Hall — built in 1888 — now in need of rearrangement if not replacement 



CITY ADMINISTRATION 



Kdward Smith 
Alexander Billstein 
A. H. F. Krueger 
I). L. Kimberly 
A. H. F. Krueger 



Mayors Serving the City of Neenah 



1873-187+ 

18 75 

1876 

1877 

1878 



William Kellett 
C. B. Clark, Sr. 
A. H. F. Krueger 
G. A. Whiting 
J. W. Tobey 



1879 

1880-1882 

1883 

188 1 8 8 

1886 



21,1 




A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



2I 4 



Dr. E. W. Clark 


1887 


Charles Schultz 


1902-1907 


William Arnemann 


1888 


J. N. Stone 


1908-191 i 


S. A. Cook 


1889 


C. B. Clark 


1912-1919 


George O. Bergstrom 


1890 


E. C. Arnemann 


1920-1921 


William H. Hesse 


1891 


J. H. Dennhardt 


1922-1923 


E. J. Lachmann 


1892 


George E. Sande 


1924-1925 


William Arnemann 


1893 


J. H. Dennhardt 


1926-1927 


E. A. Williams 


1894 


George E. Sande 


1928-1933 


William Arnemann 


1894-1895 


William S. Campbell 


1934-1936 


George O. Bergstrom 


1896-1897 


Edwin A. Kalfahs 


'937-1949 


J. N. Stone 


1898 


Carl E. Loehning 


1950-1955 


Thomas Higgins 


1899 


George E. Sande 


1956-1958 


Gustav Kalfahs 


1800 


Chester Bell 


1958 


M. L. Campbell 


1901 




City Clerks Serving the City oj Neenah 




C. J. Kraby 


1873-1880 


T. T. Moulton 


1894-1897 


G. W. Todd 


1881-1882 


S. M. Sykes 


1898-1899 


J. N. Stone 


1883 


George LeTourneaux 


1900 


J. C. Kerwin 


1884-1885 


J. P. Keating 


1901-191 3 


J. P. Rasmussen 


1886 


H. S. Zemlock 


I 9 1 4 _T 94 T 


S. M. Sykes 


1887-1893 


R. V. Hauser 


1942- 



We are indebted to Mayhew Mott for the above listings of Mayors 
and City Clerks who have served our city. In addition, through his 
efforts, there is now on file in the Library, typewritten lists giving by 
years the names of Mayor, City Clerk, Treasurer, Attorney and Aider- 
men for the years 1873 to 1955 inclusive. 

The following comparative figures were supplied by Mr. Roman 
Hauser and Mrs. John Bruyette, of the City Clerk’s office: 



City of Neenah 

Year Population Assessed Valuation Tax Levies 



i860 


1,296 


— 


— 


1870 


2,655 


— 


— 


1880 


4,202 


S 1,254,599 


} 31,364.98 


1890 


5,083 


1,550,060 


38,751-50 


1900 


5,954 


I ,844,604 


63,750-74 


1910 


5,734 


3,784,208 


92,402.45 


1920 


7,171 


10,015,375 


286,310.26 


1930 


9,151 


15,992,229 


447,782.41 


I 94° 


10,645 


18,478 ,420 


443,482.08 


1950 


12,437 


25,185,717 


957,057-25 


T 9S7 


17,200 (est.) 


35,098,230 


1,684,715.04 



C ITY ADMINIS T R A T I O N 

Estimated Number of Homes 



i860 — 320 
1 870 — 660 
1880 — 1 ,050 
1890 — 1 ,260 
1900 — 1 ,480 
1910 — 1 ,500 



1920 — 1 ,750 

T 93° — ' 2 > 2 5° 
1940 — 2,660 

1950-T 3 , J °o 
! 957 - 4,345 



21 s 



Fire ‘Department 

The following is quoted from a souvenir booklet of the Neenah Fire 
Department dated 1 878— 1 9 1 4 : 

“In the year 1863, the only equipment available for fire protection was a home- 
made apparatus capable of throwing a stream about twenty feet. This was used in 
connection with the ‘old bucket brigade.’ In 1865 a heavy double brake hand pump 
was purchased. At least twenty men were necessary to operate this machine effec- 
tively. However, from all accounts, it gave fairly good service. During the year 
1868, when Mr. J. N. Stone was President of the village, an appropriation of Si, 200 
was raised to buy a Silsby Steamer.” 

The charter of the city of Neenah in 1873 authorized the common 
council “for the purpose of guarding against the calamities of fire, 

. . . the power to purchase fire engines and other fire apparatus, and 
to maintain or organize a fire department, and to authorize the forma- 
tion of fire engine, hook and ladder and hose companies, and to pro- 
vide for the due and proper support and regulation of the same.” The 
Chief Engineer of the Fire Department was an appointive position, 
and the personnel of the various companies was made up of volun- 
tary enlistments. An ordinance, dated 1881, signed by C. B. Clark, 
Sr., Mayor, lists the sum of 50^ per month for each member of the 
respective companies. Following is a roster of Fire Chiefs as listed in 
the available records: 



M. P. H. Haines 


1868 


Chris Neustetter 


1883 


R. D. Torrey 


1869 


H. O. Clark 


(Jan. 20) 1885 


C. B. Clark ' 


1871 


Robert Jamison 


1885-87 


C. Binger 


1872 


H. E. Coats 


1887 


W. P. Peckham 


1874 


E. F. Wieckert 


1888-90 


M. H. P. Haines 


1877 


William Arnemann 


1890 


Felix Bahner 


(Aug. 13) 1877 


Fred Peck 


1891-95 


A. W. Kellogg 


1879 







2l6 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



John Christoph 1896-97 

W. L. Jones 1898—1901 

Louis Bergstrom 1902-09 

George Christoph 1 910-19 

(first appointed under newly-formed 
Com mission) 



L. M. Rausch 1919-43 

(first full-time paid Chief) 

Howard Heup 1943-47 

John Zick 1947- 



On March 1 5, 1 893, the department was disbanded, and reorganized 
on a volunteer basis on October 3, 1893. 

Heads of the Neenah Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. (Avail- 
able records list the following.) 



Adam Krghott, Foreman 1875 (Taken from Cunningham) 



H. O. Clark 
J. T. Enos 
J. H. Jones 
H. E. Coats 
A. T. Perry 
J. Stilp 



(May 12) 1881 
1883 

(June 3) 1884 
(Aug. 6) 1 884 

1885 

1886 



Dr. Valerious 
A. T. Perry 
John F. Brown 
E. Goodman 

J. Stilp 

C. Johnson 



1887 

(June 1) 1887 

1888 

1889 

1890 

1891 



Many present-day citizens recall the two ropes, with handles, that 
dangled at the entrance to the City Hall. The ropes connected with 
two clappers in the belfry, where the bell hangs. When a fire was re- 
ported, the nearest person grabbed the handles and set up a rapid 
jangling of the bell. That started a race of teamsters for the City Hall. 
The winner hitched his team to the hook and ladder truck, and off 
they galloped to the fire — and a $5 reward! 

In 1910, pursuant to the law establishing Police & Fire Commis- 
sions in fourth class cities, the Fire Department was reorganized and 
began functioning under the Commission. Mr. George Christoph was 
appointed Chief, with fifteen men comprising the force. The depart- 
ment operated on a volunteer basis. 

In 1916, when C. B. Clark was Mayor, Mr. Clark and Mr. Louis 
Rausch purchased the first motor-driven truck, replacing the hook 
and ladder companies. This truck, with 350 gallon pump, was deliv- 
ered in 1917 — and Mr. Rausch and Mr. William Hoeper were the 
first drivers. With the arrival of the truck, the two drivers began sleep- 
ing at the City Hall, and Mr. Rausch recalls that after working three 
months without a day off, Mr. August Eberlein was hired. 



CITY ADMINISTRATION 



217 




Neenah Fire Department — 1910. Names from left to right: Herman Vogt, George Christoph, Chief; 
Charles Meerbach, Martin Wachholz (white coat), A 1 Staffeld, Louis Bergstrom, Louis (Little) Nelson, 
Emil Melchert, Will Mason, Russ Allender (driver for Mason & Nagel Livery), Fred Mason (?), Joe Cox, 
August Eberlein (Asst. Chief), Silas Martens, unknown driver for livery, Louis (Nickel) Nelson. At 
entrance to City Hall: John Fullam and Tom Kelly. The two children standing beside John Fullam and 
Tom Kelly are Alice and Kenneth Rausch, children of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Rausch, former Fire Chief. 
Kenneth is a present fireman. 



Prior to this time, Mr. Christoph had slept at the City Hall during 
the night, and kept his team of horses there overnight and on holidays. 
During the daytime, the old bell still summoned the nearest teamster. 
In addition, the Kellett & Coats livery stable (later Mason & Nagel) 
which was located on the site of the present ERA building, furnished 
a team. This stable was later moved to 216 South Commercial Street, 
and Mr. Rausch states that one favorite horse, when the bit was put 
in his mouth, would immediately walk, via the sidewalk, to the City 
Hall and turn into the fire station ! 



John Zick, Chief 

F. Diesterhaupt, Capt. 
H. Howman, Capt. 

K. Rausch 

L. Loehning 
A. Krutz 

R. Mertz 
C. Douglas 

G. Sturgis 
R. Tor now 
N. Bonn in 



Present Force 

G. Hacks tock 
N. Hoeper 
W. Lange 

A. Lange 

H. Gullickson 
G. Krause 

D. Levick 
G. Casperson 
G. Haufe 

B. Williams (temporary) 



21 8 A HISTORY OF NEENAH 

"Police ‘Department 

Whenever a community is formed, such is the way of human beings 
that law enforcement must be considered among their first thoughts 
of city administration. Neenah was no exception — the charter of 
Neenah in 1873 provided for a Chief of Police at a yearly salary not to 
exceed $700. The Chief was appointed for a term of one year. Follow- 
ing is a roster of Chiefs of Police of the City of Neenah: 



James McGinn 


1878 


Peter D. Kraby 


1898 


Thomas Sherry 


1879-1881 


Charles H. Watts 


1899-1900 


Ephraim Giddings 


1882 


James W. Brown 


190T-1905 


George W. Sawyer 


1883-1887 


Charles Blank 


1906-1907 


A. F. Haertl 


1888 


James W. Brown 


1908-1910 


George W. Sawyer 


1889 


James W. Brown 


1910-1916 


George F. Thompson 


1890-1891 


(first appointed under 


newly-forn 


George N. Jorgensen 


1892-1893 


Commission) 




John Peterson 


1894-1895 


Charles H. Watts 


1916-1940 


Charles H. Watts 


1896-1897 


Irving Stilp 


T 94°- 



In 1909, through the efforts of Dr. James R. Barnett, Sr., a citizen 
of Neenah, then a member of the state assembly, a law creating Police 
and Fire Commissions in fourth class cities was passed by the state 
legislature. In conformity with this law, Mayor J. N. Stone appointed 
the first commission, consisting of Thomas Kelly, President; George 
A. Jagerson, Peter J. Ladd, Harry Ballou, Louis Swane, and James P. 
Keating, Secretary and Examiner of the Board. This commission 
appointed James W. Brown as Chief of Police on June 27, 1910. Mr. 
Brown continued until March, 1916. The first force comprised three 
members, one of whom was Harry Holverson, who served for thirty 
years, until his retirement. Henry Bando, Henry Burr, Ben LeRoy 
and Peter Carlson, an ex-sheriff, were also early members of the force. 

On May 18, 1916, Charles H. Watts was appointed Chief of Police, 
holding this office until June 1, 1940. Upon his retirement, Irving Stilp 
was appointed Chief, which office he holds to the present date. 

From a simple system of the policeman on the corner, to a complex 
system of nationwide communication, our law enforcement depart- 
ment has kept pace, in spite of shockingly inadequate space and facili- 
ties. 



CITY ADMINISTRATION 



219 



The present force totals twenty-six men: 



Irving Stilp, Chief 
Clarence Toeppler 
Henry Kohfeldt 
Elmer Reinke 
George Goldner 
Lawrence Malouf 
Vernice Wollerman 
Stanley Staffeld 
Herbert Parker 
Warner Sorensen 
Donald Schmidt 
William Richey 
Durward Breaker 



Raymond Tuchscherer 
Charles Harding 
Rupert Lehman 
Leslie Parrott 
James Hawley 
Leorman Konitzer 
Clyde Hulbert 
Robert Meverden 
Robert Seiler 
Kenneth Foster 
Darrell Webb 
Robert Homan 
Richard Toeppler 



EASY MONEY 

From May hew Mott’s rich store of anecdotes: 

The present city hall had not been built many years when through some accident 
the line that ran through the pulley on top of the flagstaff broke or was pulled 
through, so that there was no way of raising the flag to the top of the flagstaff'. The 
city council secured the services of a steeplejack to replace the rope through the 
pulley. He came with his ladders and tackle, and started by lashing a ladder to 
the bell tower, so that it protruded out over the street. He then used the projecting 
end of the ladder as the support of another ladder, which reached up over the bell 
tower and rested against the base of the 22 ' flagstaff. Fernie Nelson, young brother 
of Chris Nelson, the plumber and for many years a Neenah Alderman, was present, 
bare-footed and with his hands in his pockets, watching these operations with great 
interest. When the second ladder had been lashed in place, the steeplejack began 
to be nervous and uncertain. Fernie spoke up, “How much will you give me if I 
finish the job for you?” The man instantly replied, “Five dollars.” Fernie tied the 
rope around himself, shot up the ladder to the flagstaff, shinnied up the 22 ' flagstaff, 
and was down claiming his money. He said it was the easiest money he had ever 
earned. 



COMMERCIAL 



Neenah’s commercial life from the 1870’s to the year of this writing 
has followed the pattern of many another American community. In 
the horse and buggy age the shopping area was close up. People within 
the community were within walking distance of their grocer, butcher 
or their dry goods merchant. Once a week was shopping day for the 
rural neighbors, who drove to town over dirt roads. 

Then came the interurban railway and Appleton and Oshkosh were 
brought within the shopping range of Neenah housewives. The revo- 
lution, however, came with the introduction of the automobile during 
the early decades of the 20th century. The auto brought demand for 
hard surfaced roads, and this, in turn, widened Neenah’s shopping 
area to 25, 50 — even 100 miles. No longer can Neenah’s merchants 
complacently count on local patronage as their monopoly. They are 
at once in competition with their area — from Green Bay on the north, 
to Milwaukee on the south. 

Furthermore, they cannot avoid responsibility for customer park- 
ing. Failure at this point puts the entire downtown commercial area in 
jeopardy and encourages the growth of shopping centers on the city’s 
outskirts, where cheaper real estate facilitates adequate and conven- 
ient parking for cars. An outstanding example of this trend is the Val- 
ley Fair in Winnebago County south of Appleton’s city limits. The 
I.G.A. and Red Owl food stores on the south margin of Neenah are 
typical of this trend. 

To further add to the discomfiture of the downtown merchant is 
the movement of city residents into the rural or shore regions beyond 
the city’s boundaries. 

On the other hand it must be recognized that these trends are two- 
way streets. The local merchant, professional man or banker who 
offers superior service attracts his share of patronage from this widen- 
ing held. 

To Edward Jandrey was assigned the task of compiling the volumi- 
nous commercial history. There went to the management of every 



220 



C O M M E R C I A L 



221 



store and commercial establishment in the city an invitation to par- 
ticipate, through contribution of a paragraph naming present owners, 
changes in ownership or location since 1878, nature of business and 
any personal information of interest to posterity. Recognition of the 
enterprises who responded is woven throughout the decade write-up 
in Part I, with particular attention being given to the older commer- 
cial establishments. Failure to respond was interpreted as a disinter- 
ested attitude toward appearance in the pages of this book. 

However, the City Directory, printed annually by the Johnson 
Publishing Co. of Manitowoc, is complete and will always be available. 




COMMUNICATIONS 



To our forebears the word communications had a very different mean- 
ing than it does to us. To them it meant either one of two things. The 
first was to personally talk to the other person, and the second was to 
write a letter and wait for an answer that was carried over rather un- 
certain mails. To us it means the high speed interchange of thoughts 
and ideas that the use of electricity permits. It is communications in 
this latter sense that we will discuss in this chapter. 

The earliest electrical communication system placed in general use 
was the telegraph. It was only a few short years after Samuel Morse 
first demonstrated a practical telegraph system in 1837 that the tele- 
graph came to Neenah. The first office was opened here in 1852. 
Neenah was one link of a line that connected Chicago and Green Bay. 
This line was operated by the Northwestern T elegraph Company. 
This company operated the line until 1881, at which time it was 
leased to the Western Union Telegraph Company. This is the period 
that saw an additional miracle of electrical communications. In 1877 
Sam Henry, of the Kimberly & Henry Drug House (now Elwer’s) in- 
stalled a device, new to these parts, called a telephone. A wire was 
strung from the drug store to the home of Dr. J. R. Barnett, on the 
corner of Church Street and West Doty Avenue, also to the residence 
of Dr. N. S. Robinson (now the home of the YWCA). This installa- 
tion was what we would now call a party line. Soon there formed a 
waiting line of would-be customers, and the system became so un- 
wieldy that an exchange was started, and thereby became the first 
telephone exchange in Wisconsin. 

'Twenty customers made up the first clientele of the first telephone 
company in Neenah. The first manager was, of course, Sam Henry, 
who pioneered the telephone in Neenah, and the first operator was 
Charles Nielson. Only a year after the exchange was started, the Wis- 
consin Telephone Company was incorporated. This new organization 
took over the exchange in M. E. Barnett’s drug store. 

'The coming of the telephone did nothing to dampen the spirits and 
progress of the telegraph. The telegraph office in the Wells Fargo 



Express Office on West Wisconsin Avenue did a thriving business 
under the managership of Mr. Thomas E. Callahan, who continued as 
Manager from April 15, 1882, for twenty-two years. This was the 
brass pounders’ paradise. The office resounded with the clatter of the 
sounders as Mr. Callahan, and those who followed him, manually sent 
and received messages and press news that formed the only fast con- 
nection between Neenah and the outside world. Following Mr. Calla- 
han in the brass pounders’ league were Mr. Conrad C. Kruse from 
August 1, 1904, to March 18, 1906, and Mrs. S. E. Webster from 1906 
until April 4, 1911. At this time Mr. John B. Boreson became the 
Manager and operator of the Neenah office. He remained in this posi- 
tion for over forty years. During this whole period the Western Union 
Telegraph remained a one-man office, one man and one boy, the famil- 
iar WU messenger boy and his bicycle. 

The Western Union Telegraph Company was not without compe- 
tition, however. Their competition in telegraphic communication was 
the Postal Telegraph Company. Their office was first located in the 
back of Barnett’s Drug Store, and later, about 1927, it was moved into 
the Spude Electric Company building on North Commercial Street. 
Prior to 1922 the Postal was operated by Miss Emma Koestle, of 
Appleton. She was relieved by Mr. Brian Seroogy for a period of six 
weeks. That six weeks became sixteen years. During those years of 
Mr. Seroogy ’s managership several operators came and went, among 
them Mrs. Clarence Nash. Messenger boys were also used by the 
Postal. Among those that worked under Mr. Seroogy were Carl 
Stridde, Harvey Jorgenson, Dave Rusch, Robert Gillespie, George 
and Herman Krause, Eli Breaker, Carl Krueger and Howard Boreson. 

In 1930 Neenah won the District Basketball Championship and 
went on to Madison to the State Tournament. Since radio was in its 
infancy and the majority of the families in town did not have a re- 
ceiver, a group of civic minded citizens defrayed the expenses of the 
Postal operator and the scores were relayed to Draheim’s Store, where 
they were announced over a loudspeaker to the fans outside. Some- 
times as many as 2,000 interested listeners gathered outside the store 
to hear the scores. 

In 1938 Mr. Seroogy left Postal, and in 1943 the Postal Telegraph 



22 4 



A H ISTO R Y () F NEENA II 




Wisconsin Telephone Company Building 



merged wirh Western Union and the Postal office in Neenah was dis- 
continued. By this time Western had moved, first into the rear of the 
Anspach Dry Goods Store, then into the Valley Inn, and finally to 1 12 
East Wisconsin Avenue, where they are at this writing. 

While all of this was happening to the telegraph, the Wisconsin 
Telephone Company was expanding its operations at a rapid rate. Af- 
ter a series of managers followed Sam Henry, Mr. N. G. Willarson 
took over the managership in 1897 and stayed until 1923. In 1908 a 
new exchange building was constructed, the present building at 117 
S. Commercial Street. By 1916 the number of subscribers had grown 
to 2,220. After Mr. Willarson came Henry D. Raiche and Peter Shea. 
Then, in 1932, Mr. Robert P. Brooks became manager, continuing in 
this post until retirement in 1957. Mr. Clifford M. Flaherty replaced 
Mr. Brooks. Under Mr. Brooks’ guidance the Neenah-Menasha ex- 
change has grown to a total of 16,000 telephones, all dial. T he change- 
over to dial switching came in 1948, necessitating an addition to the 
rear of the present office building to house the dial equipment. The 
change to the dial system also heralded local calling privileges between 
the Twin Cities, Appleton and Greenville. 



COMMUNICATIONS 



22 C 



The Wisconsin Telephone Company supplies the following informa- 
tion regarding increase in the number of telephones in Neenah: 



1877- 4 

1882 — 35 

1890 — 101 

1900 — 268 

1910 — 1 ,200 



1920 2,490 

'9.30- 4.679 

1940— 6,386 
1950—11,130 
1957—16,111 



Sometime shortly after World War I, an unknown young man, 
working alone in his basement, set up the first radio station in Neenah. 
He was the first of the “hams” or, to the uninitiated, amateur radio 
operators. The number of hams slowly increased as the fascination of 
this scientific hobby gained more widespread attention. In 1950 a for- 
mal organization of the hams in the Twin Cities was organized pri- 
marily through the efforts of Mr. Lyle Buestrin. The original roster 
of members totaled fourteen. The organization, although primarily 
social in nature, maintains an emergency supply of electric power and 
two complete stations located in the Roosevelt School. The member- 
ship has grown so that by now there are twenty-six members, and 
prospects for several more. 

Radio was destined to change the lives of many more of the resi- 
dents of the Twin Cities than just the avid hams. In 1937, through the 
efforts of Mr. Irving Stilp of the county police force, a county-wide 
police radio network was set up. Until 1942 it was a one-way system, 
with a transmitter at Oshkosh and receivers in the police cars and 
motorcycles. In 1942, shortly after Mr. Stilp became Police Chief at 
Neenah, two-way AM radio was established in Neenah. The trans- 
mitter was installed in the City Hall, with the control console located 
in the Police Station. Continuous two-way communication was ob- 
tained between the station and the fire trucks, the squad car and 
motorcycle and the Police Rescue boat. With the advent of static free 
FM radio, the police system was converted to FM, with the trans- 
mitter remotely controlled from both the Neenah and Menasha police 
stations. The water works, on the shore of Lake Winnebago, proved 
an ideal location for the transmitter and antenna. The mobile equip- 
ment in Neenah now includes three cars, three motorcycles, three fire 
engines, the ambulance and the police boat. 



226 



A HISTORY OF NliENAII 



Neenah was growing, and a need for a commercial broadcasting sta- 
tion was felt. Mr. S. N. Pickard sparked the movement that resulted 
in the establishment of the Neenah-Menasha Broadcasting Com- 
pany, with Mr. Pickard as President, Mr. Don C. Wirth as Vice- 
President, and Mr. R. D. Molzow as Secretary-Treasurer. The first 
program went on the air in May of 1947 from a transmitter located 
on County Trunk A about one mile south of Neenah. The first studios 
were located in the basement of the National Manufacturers’ Bank. 
The station continued to operate in the daytime only, with a power of 
1,000 watts, until July of 1950. In the meantime an FM transmitter 
was placed in service in conjunction with the AM unit. The dual 
transmissions were continued with the AM station on full-time opera- 
tion until 1953, when the FM license was relinquished to make room 
for television. Picture transmission was started late in February of 
1954, on the UHF Channel 42. UHF transmissions were not complete- 
ly successful, and late that same year, the station went off the air. TV 
was here to stay, though. The Neenah-Menasha Broadcasting Com- 
pany merged with the Valley Telecasting Company, of Green Bay, in 
order to operate a VHF station on Channel 5. 

Electrical communications as used by the citizens of Neenah have 
become more and more complex, and have effected rather drastic 
changes in all of our lives. The end of this chronicle has arrived, but 
not the end of more useful, more rapid, and more convenient devices, 
all operated by our servant, electricity. 

I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the following people, without 
which this chronicle could not have been written: Mr. Robert P. 
Brooks, Mr. Donald Cyr, Mr. Brian Seroogy, Mr. Don C. Wirth, 
Mr. Irving Stilp. 

Compiled by Lowell JV. 'Label 






COMMUNITY CHEST 



Following World War II there was widespread interest in the crea- 
tion of an organization to take over the money raising activities for a 
large group of organizations who had previously put on individual 
fund raising drives. Such an organization could reach a greater num- 
ber of people than the individual organizations, and thus the financial 
base of the fund raising was widened. 

Neenah-Menasha organized their Community Chest on Thursday, 
June 26, 1947, at the St. Thomas Community Building. Officers 
elected at that meeting were: 

S. F. Shattuck, President 
J. Morgan Wheeler, 1 st Vice-President 
Mrs. J. F. Gillingham, 2nd Vice-President 
Don Colburn, Secretary 
J. Russell Ward, Treasurer 

Six Directors were also elected and the following Committee Chair- 
men were selected: 

Budget Committee — Henry J. Young 
Admissions Committee — W. H. Swanson 
Nominating Committee — John Pinkerton 

A local War Fund Committee had $ 1,870.00 which had been col- 
lected to perpetuate a veteran’s office which was not being used, and 
this fund was turned over to the Chest. 

The townships of Neenah and Menasha were included with the two 
cities for Chest activities. Eight organizations were approved for the 
first year’s operation of the Chest: Y.W.C.A., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 
Salvation Army, V.N.A., Boys’ Brigade, Children’s Service Society 
of Wisconsin, and the Neenah-Menasha Apostolate. The goal for this 
first fund drive was set at $60,000, which was attained. 

Officers for the year 1956-57 are: 

Donald A. Snyder, President 

Arthur Hedlund, 1st Vice-President 

John H. Wilterding, 2nd Vice-President 

Mrs. H. C. Sperka, Secretary 

E. J. Schultheis, Treasurer 

Donald C. Shepard, Jr., Campaign Chairman 



227 



228 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Ten approved agencies: Boys’ Brigade, Boy Scouts, Children’s Serv- 
ice Society, Community Council, Girl Scouts, Neenah-Menasha Apos- 
tolate, Salvation Army, V.N.A., Y.YV.C.A., Family Service. The 
Budget for 1957 is $ 1 12,000. 

Chest headquarters share office space with the Chamber of Com- 
merce, 1 12 W. Wisconsin Avenue. 

Compiled by Mrs. IV. B. Be/lack 



COMMUNITY COUNCIL 



On January 8, 1940, the first meeting of the Council of Social Agen- 
cies was held. Over forty organizations were represented and meetings 
were to be held each month. The officers elected were: 

Rev. A. A. Chambers, Chairman 
A. J. Armstrong, 1st Vice Chairman 
Rev. W. L. Harms, 2nd Vice Chairman 
Miss Virginia Heals, Secretary 
T. D. Spaulding, Treasurer 

Members of the Executive Committee: 

Rev. Joseph Ahearn H. M. Bishop 

Rev. Gerald Churchill Mrs. Ruth Falvey 

Miss Edna Robertson Gaylord C. Loehning 

C. H. Abel 

At this time its main purpose was to assist welfare and social work- 
ers interested in community welfare, and to promote a closer harmony 
among the member organizations. 

Tn 1951 it became a Community Chest agency. The main purpose 
of the Council is to look at the Community as a whole, and to endeav- 
or to coordinate the work of existing agencies. It tries to eliminate 
duplication of effort and stimulate preventative health measures by 
education, coordinated planning and thinking. In 1953 the name was 
changed to Neenah-Menasha Community Council. 

Compiled by Mrs. IV. B. Bel lack 




229 



DANA CLUB HALL 



One of the historic meeting places of early Neenah was the Dana 
Club Hall. John S. Tolversen here tells its history: 

The Dana Club was the old Trinity Lutheran Church, located on the corner of 
W ashington and Walnut Streets, next to their school building, which is still standing 
there, though now a house. I attended that school for about half a year. 

The Dana Club bought the church and rebuilt it for a hall, later selling it to J. P. 
Jasperson, who moved it to its present location on West Doty Avenue. The Dana 
Club met there, though that club has long since passed from existence. The Danish 
Brotherhood, which is still a going concern, then met there for a time. 

I remember very well, as a little kid, attending parties there when the folks 
drove in from the farm, which was a ten mile drive. The building had a stage and 
was the scene of many entertainments, and I remember one debate, though I do 
not remember the participants, except that J. P. Jasperson was one, and the subject 
of the debate was, “The theater is an unchristian institution and should not be 
patronized by Christian people.” 

Louis Sorenson bought the building from Jasperson, and later sold it to Sadie 
Kdgarton. Subsequently it became the property of Wm. Krueger Co. At present it 
belongs to The Jandrey Co., who use it for storage. 

George Elwers appends this relative to Michelson’s Hall: 

A similar hall with a stage was Michelson’s Hall, on the site of the present post 
office. High School dances, with George Gardner, pianist, were held here. It was 
on the steps of this building that the boys were sitting one evening with nothing 
to do, wh en Dr. Chapin came along and talked to them. Result: The Boys’ Brigade 




230 



DENTISTRY 



In 1841 the first Dental School was founded. Previous to that time 
and up to 1885 dentists were trained by other dentists, known as pre- 
ceptors. In 1885 the first law regulating the licensing of dentists was 
enacted in Wisconsin. Men already in practice had only to register 
and make an affidavit attesting that they were already practicing. 

In 1885 three men were in Neenah: Dr. J. P. Mertes had been here 
two years, Dr. V. M. Valerious for eight years, and Dr. J. T. Enos 
for an unknown period. We only know that Dr. Enos was number 
twelve to register in the state. The following year, 1886, noted a new 
man, Dr. W. E. Young. A year later we find that Dr. W. H. Meeker 
was added to the dental group. Meeker was here for several years. 
After his retirement to live in Appleton, he sold insurance, his wide 
acquaintance in the area being of considerable advantage. 

Dr. Orrin Thompson came here in 1889 and continued till 1907, 
when his office was taken over by Dr. Wm. M. Post. A successor to 
Dr. Post was Dr. J. M. Donovan, who took over Dr. Post’s office in 
1911, Dr. Post at that time moving to the state of Oregon. Dr. W. F. 
Gary was in Neenah for thirty-five years, from 1894 till 1929. Dr. 
Frederick Taylor spent twenty-seven years in Neenah, 1896 till 1923, 
when Dr. G. N. Ducklow took over his office. Dr. Ducklow is still here 
and has a dentist son, Dr. Robert Ducklow, who has just returned to 
practice here after his hitch in the U. S. Army. Dr. Albert J. DuBois 
and Dr. George Barlow joined the dentists here in 1897. Both con- 
tinued here till their deaths. 

Dr. Gary was an exceptionally fine mechanic. His was a mind with 
a mechanical trend. In his laboratory were many devices made by him- 
self. Dr. Gary was one of the founders of “Xi Psi Phi” — a dental col- 
lege fraternity. Shortly before retiring he was a guest of the fraternity 
at the University of Michigan. 

Dr. George Barlow, besides doing dentistry, had diversified inter- 
ests. At one time, before the advent of the modern local anesthetic, 
he had the sole rights to use a patented local called Odun-under. He 



231 



232 



A HISTORY OF NliENAII 



also organized a dental supply company, which was indifferently suc- 
cessful. 

Dr. Taylor was a tense man, with strong religious feelings. For 
many years he was connected with the Presbyterian Sunday School. 
He retired to his old home in Elkhorn. 

Dr. Albert DuBois was the first dentist in Neenah to acquire X-ray 
equipment. Other dentists for many years were dependent on an X- 
ray service conducted by Dr. Greenwood, a physician. 

Dr. J. M. Donovan, at the present writing, is still in practice, asso- 
ciated with Dr. John L. Donovan, his son. Dr. John L. Donovan 
started practice in 1943, the first three years in the U. S. Army. Dr. 
J. M. Donovan has served dentistry on both a state and national 
level. In 1924 he was President of the Wisconsin State Dental Society, 
and in 1942 was President of the American Association of Dental Edi- 
tors. He is currently, and has been for twenty years, editor of the 
'Journal of the Wisconsin State ‘Dental Societv. In 1938 he was elected 
to be a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, an honorary 
society for dentists who have made distinctive contributions to the 
profession. 

Dr. Truman Seiler appeared in 191 5, followed by Dr. L. J. McCrary 
in 1919, Dr. H. C. Schultz and Dr. Wm. M. Schultz in 1925 and 1932, 
respectively, Dr. W. F. Landskron in 1936, and Dr. A. E. Jenkins 
in 1938. 

Dr. L. J. McCrary was for some time a member of the School 
Board. Dr. H. C. Schultz is, and has been for several years, deeply 
interested in sports and recreation. Dr W. E. Schultz is currently a 
member of the City Plan Commission. 

Neenah should be happy with the dental service available and with 
the public dental health program in the schools, which was fostered by 
Neenah dentists. A full-time dental program is currently existing and 
has been for over twenty years. Miss Dorothy Kuehne, a dental hy- 
gienist, instructs children of all grades on proper dental care. She also 
speaks to parent groups about their part in dental care. 

Another phase of dentistry that is unique is the dental service for 
school children with insufficient means to pay for dental service. For 
some twenty years the Twin City Visiting Nurse Association has 



DEN T I S T R Y 



233 



underwritten this philanthropy. So far they have expended well in 
excess of Si 2,000. 

Up to the turn of the century there was little conformity in den- 
tistry. Many men had secret methods which they jealously guarded. 
Present dentistry is much different. Men having attained special skills 
freely give them to the profession. Counsel and advice is freely avail- 
able. 

Through the efforts of local dentists, fluorides were added to the 
city’s water in 1950. Already the benefits are becoming apparent. 
Dental decay in children’s teeth has been reduced by 50%. 

Down through the years several dentists appeared in Neenah, and, 
after a short period, left for locations more to their liking. Only some 
of the more recent names will be remembered. We list Dr. Todd, 
Dr. Mories, Dr. Traver, Dr. Sorenson, Dr. Wick, Dr. Post, Dr. 
Wagner, Dr. Jern, Dr. Kulnik and Dr. Jorgensen. 

The dentists now in Neenah, in the order of their start in practice, 
are: 



J. M. Donovan — 1911 
T. J. Seiler- 1915 
L. J. McCrary- 1919 
(i. X. Ducklow 19 23 
H. C. Schultz 1925 
W. E. Schultz — 1932 
W. F. Landskron — 1936 



A. E. Jenkins — 1938 
J. L. Donovan 1943 
H. P. Jacobi — 1950 
R. R. DeWet— 1952 
J. M. LaLiberte — 1954 
J. J. Houressa— 1955 
R. Ducklow 1958 



It should also be mentioned that the Twin City Dental Laboratory 
is run by Mr. Patrick Smith, an expert technician. 

Compiled by Dr. J. M . Donovan 



DOTY CABIN 



On August 31, 1835, James D. Doty purchased, from the Federal 
Government, land totaling 100 acres for the sum of $600 (on the 
Island, “Doty Island”). The purchase of this land was possible be- 
cause the Island and land on the Menasha side of the Fox River was 
not a part of the Indian Reservation. Neenah, or the land south of 
the south branch of the Fox River, remained a part of the Menominee 
Indian Reserve, and was not open to settlement until after the Treaty 
of the Cedars in 1836, or to purchase until after 1846. 

The original site for the cabin was selected because of its view and 
accessibility to the lake. Built in 1845, the cabin was a realization of 
a dream long held by Doty, to provide a rustic place for retirement. 
Mrs. Doty named the cabin the “Grand Loggery.” Here the family 
lived until in i860, when Lincoln appointed Doty to the Superintend- 
ency of Indian affairs in the Utah territory, which office he held 
until his appointment to the Governorship of the same territory in 
1863. His death occurred in 1865, and he is buried at Fort Douglas in 
Salt Lake City. 

Mrs. Doty returned to this region and lived with a daughter, Mrs. 
Fitzgerald, in Oshkosh. 

Mrs. Gleason, whose husband was a partner in the Wilde and 
Gleason Drug Store, was born in this building. Because there was no 
suitable home for the doctor to work, Governor Doty took her into 
his home. 

The land and the Loggery were purchased by Hugh H. Ernsting on 
January 28, 1868, from Mrs. J. D. Doty. 

In 1875, John Roberts purchased the site and Loggery from Mr. 
Ernsting for the purpose of erecting a resort, which was opened to the 
public on May 30, 1877. The Cabin served as an annex to the resort, 
serving as housing space for the help, and also accommodated pool 
tables and card tables on the first floor. John Roberts sold the prop- 
erty to Strange, and the Cabin lay abandoned until 1926, when the 
D.A.R. became interested, and under its influence it was moved to 
Doty Park and opened to the public. 



234 



1) O T Y C A B I N 



2 35 

111 1937 a regular summer program of days and hours was estab- 
lished, and the Cabin has been open from June to September each 
year since that date. Differing from most old homes, Doty Cabin is 
open to all, free of charge, and has become an accepted part of the 
park program. 

Throughout the years before being moved to Doty Park, the Cabin 
had suffered much from neglect. In 1948 it was felt advisable to re- 
place the original cabin with a replica, using such original materials as 
advisable. This project was completed, and, with care, the building 
will stand for many years to extend to future generations some of the 
true history of the past. 

It has ever been the interest of the local D.A.R., Neenah Historical 
Society, and others, to furnish the Cabin with original Doty material. 
So far there has been secured: a piano; a mahogany table sent by Mrs. 
Frank Gregory, of Pomona, California; a settee and two chairs from 
R. H. Wise, of Billings, Montana, a relative of Mrs. Doty; a side- 
board and silverware, presented by Mr. McMann, of Oshkosh; small 
dishes, glasses, table silver, presented by Mrs. C. B. Clark, of Neenah. 

Where original furnishings are not available, materials of the 1800 
to 1850 period are used to furnish the Cabin. 

The average year sees between five and six thousand visitors at the 
Cabin, representing 200 to 250 cities, 20 to 30 states, and as many as 
fifteen foreign areas of the world. 

With interest in old and historic homes obviously growing, Neenah 
will do well to maintain this historic site. 

Compiled by Harvey R. Leaman 

Addendum: It is a matter of historic interest that all of Doty Park 
was once owned by the man whose name it carries. 

In 1905, John Roberts’ heirs sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. 
John Strange. They kept the cabin on its original site until 1926, when 
Mrs. John Strange gave the cabin to the city. 

C. B. Clark inherited from his father most of the property now in 
the park. Mr. Clark’s gift of his holdings was augmented by pur- 
chases of additional parcels by interested citizens. The land facing 
Lincoln Street, on which the cabin stands, was part of such gifts. 



ELECTRIC LIGHT, ELECTRIC POWER, 
AND INTERURBAN SERVICE* 



To trace Neenah’s source of electric energy, also the interurban serv- 
ice, both north and south of Neenah, we must start with the year 
1882, when H. J. Rogers, of Appleton, purchased the Edison patent 
rights for the Fox River Valley, and with A. L. Smith, a banker of 
Appleton, built on the bank of the power canal in that city the first 
hydroelectric central station in the world. Mr. Rogers had a wire 
strung to his home, and the report is that it was almost like a dream 
when a crude lamp glowed with light. “In this first installation there 
were no voltmeters, or ammeters, no instruments of any kind, no 
lightning protection and no fuses. The copper wires were poorly insu- 
lated, and the slightest disturbance would short out the circuit. When 
this happened, all hands went out tracing wires, and service was sus- 
pended until the trouble was located.” The Appleton Edison Light 
Company was incorporated in May, 1883, with an authorized capital 
of $50,000, with A. L. Smith as President. Fortunately for this infant 
company, Mr. Smith was also President of the First National Bank of 
Appleton. 

It was about this time that the idea of connecting up the cities in 
the Fox Valley with an electric interurban service was born. In Jan- 
uary, 1886, the Appleton Electric Street Railway Company was in- 
corporated. A plant was hastily thrown together. Rails were laid up 
and down Lawrence Street. The crude cars were controlled only at 
one end, so that at the end of a run, turntables had to be built to 
enable the motorman to turn his car around by hand. Again, there 
was no lightning protection. The plant shut down during electrical 
storms. By 1891, the novelty had worn off. The company was faced 
with raising more money to modernize plant and equipment or go into 
bankruptcy. The latter course was chosen. Subsequently, in the same 
year, Mr. Smith and C. A. Beveridge purchased the Street Railway 
Plant and property for $30,000. Forming a new corporation, the Ap- 



* Data for the above sketch taken from Chapter I of Forrest McDonald’s book, “Let There Be Light.” 

236 



ELECTRIC ENERGY 



A 37 



pleton Edison Electric Company, they purchased property of the de- 
funct Street Railway Company and the Appleton Edison Light Com- 
pany, which was also in financial difficulties. Had the Appleton Edison 
Company stayed with the lighting business instead of taking on the 
Street Railway burden, they would have made a “go” of it. In 1894 a 
rival concern, the Citizens’ Electric Light & Power Company came 
into being. This concern began operations the next year, 1895. Roth 
they and the Appleton Gas Company forced the Edison Company to 
cut its rates for light and power. At the same time its street railway 
department became a liability. 

We now look to the south of Neenah for the next step. In 1894 a 
movement took shape in Oshkosh to run an interurban line from Osh- 
kosh through Neenah and Menasha to Appleton, and ultimately to 
Green Ray. Ry this time the Appleton Edison Electric Company had 
drifted into financial distress, and President Smith agreed to sell this 
company to the newly-forming interurban company for 38 o,ooo. 
Progress was blocked by the Neenah and Menasha Councils, who re- 
fused franchises to the proposed new line. This action on the part of 
the Twin City fathers, which delayed extension of the line to Appleton, 
was due to the fears of local merchants that an intercity line, with 
Oshkosh on one end and Appleton on the other, would be injurious 
to their business. Meanwhile, due to this delay, the Appleton Edison 
Electric Company went into bankruptcy. At the foreclosure sale, 
Smith again came to the front and bought the property of the de- 
funct Appleton Edison Electric Company and formed the Appleton 
Electric Light and Power Company. In spite of persisting failure, 
Mr. Smith had a vision of the social usefulness of electric power. He 
then acquired the property of the Citizens’ Electric Light and Power 
Company and was off to a new start, when, later that year, fire de- 
stroyed his generating plant. 

Now we drop back to the year 1892, when a group of Milwaukee 
capitalists visualized an electric line along our Fox Valley waterway, 
from Fond du Lac on the south to Green Ray on the north. The 
Neenah and Menasha Electric Railway Company formed the nucleus 
of this new interurban company, which eventually became the Fox 
River Valley Electric Railway Company, operating for three years 



A HISTORY OF N F E N A H 



238 

and extending its lines northward to Appleton and Kaukauna. Fire 
destroyed its power plant in 1900. Emergency power was bought from 
the Appleton Electric Eight and Power plant, and this incident led 
to the merger, in 1900, of both companies into the Wisconsin Traction 
Light, Heat and Power Company, which then served Neenah with its 
electric energy for both light and power purposes, as its successor does 
today. In 1927 the Wisconsin Traction Light, Heat and Power Com- 
pany became the Wisconsin Michigan Power Company, serving our 
community’s expanding needs for electric energy. One year later 
(1928) the auto and gasoline-driven buses caused the elimination of 
the interurban street car. 

The interurban service south from Neenah to Oshkosh was insti- 
tuted by the Citizens’ Traction Company, of Oshkosh, and the Fond 
du Lac-Oshkosh line began operation in 1903. The Neenah-Oshkosh 
interurban service was discontinued in 1927. 



Electric jQight Qomes to l\eenah 

Through the courtesy of Alvin Staffeld, we quote from an address of 
Thomas Higgins at a convention of the Wisconsin Municipal Associa- 
tion in Manitowoc, June 18, 1937. 

Mr. Higgins was a former resident and one-time Mayor of Neenah. 
During the early 1880’s he built and operated a gas plant in Neenah, 
and was instrumental in bringing electric lighting to our city. 

In the year 1878 my brother, Henry, and I, in association with J. D. Calton, a 
gas engineer of Defiance, Ohio, built gas works in Dixon, Illinois, a few miles from 
our boyhood home on the farm, and the next year we built similar works in Water- 
loo, Iowa, and in the Twin Cities of Neenah and Menasha, Wisconsin. Gas was 
used exclusively for lighting then, and the only competitor was the kerosene lamp 
and the candle. 

The 2,000 candle arc electric light had been developed and was being used to a 
limited extent for lighting large stores and halls, and in one section of New York, 
several high towers had been built and several of the big arc lights on top of the 
towers gave the vicinity a moonlight appearance and the gas lamp on the corners 
was dispensed with. 

There was, however, much talk of a so-called subdivided electric lamp to take 
the place of the gas jet, and I remember the names of three men, Sawyer, Mann and 
Swan, who were experimenting in the laboratory with a glass globe from which the 



E L E C T R I C E N E R G Y 



23 9 



air was exhausted and a platinum wire in this vacuum globe was heated red hot 
by passing an electric current over it, and this gave a light equal to 16 candles, the 
measure of the ordinary gas jet. But this lamp was known to be impractical except 
as a laboratory experiment, but 1 watched the experiment with deep interest. Then 
in the year 1880, the newspapers reported that Thomas Kdison, a comparatively 
unknown man, had developed a similar electric lamp in his laboratory in Menlo 
Park, New Jersey, but he used a carbon filament in place of the platinum wire, and 
this Edison claimed was inexpensive and practical and sure to take the place of the 
gas jet. The others ridiculed Edison's claim, and many denounced him as a laker, 
but he succeeded in getting capital interested and factories were established for 
the manufacturing of Edison dynamos and lamps, and gas stocks kept dropping, 
and I was very much concerned. 

Then, in 1882, H. J. Rogers, of Appleton, bought an Edison Equipment for his 
paper mill on the Appleton Water Power, and ran copper wires to his home on the 
hill and lighted both his mill and his home with Edison incandescent lights, and in 
September, 1882, this mill and home being but six miles from my gas works in 
Neenah, I made many trips to /\ppleton with my horse and buggy to watch the 
experiment and to talk to Mr. Farewell, the manager of the Appleton Gas Works. 

About that time a new company, called the Western Edison Company, opened an 
office in a basement on Monroe Street, Chicago, with Edison generators in the rear 
of the office. The manager was Frank Gorton, a son-in-law of General Anson 
Steiger, who was then President of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and 
a man named Jacobs was employed to travel and sell Edison Equipment, and he 
came to Neenah often, trying to sell to the big paper mills that I was then lighting 
with gas. Art Bowron, Editor of the Neenah News , said to me one day, “Tom, 
what's that man Jacobs up to that he comes here so often? Is he trying to put you 
out of business?" I spoke disparagingly of the thing and told him of the lights going 
out in the Plankington House, and Art said, “I guess I'll give him a shot in the pa- 
per," and that evening the shot appeared in the paper, and next day my friend, 
Bowron, came to me with a telegram from Jacobs, reading: “You have the wrong 
pig by the ear. I'm coming up on the next train." 

Jacobs came, and he and Art came to see me, and we had a friendly visit, Jacobs 
lauding the electric light, and he urged me very strongly to buy a Central Station 
Equipment for Neenah, as he was sure someone else would if I failed to do so. I 
promised to give the question serious consideration, and after that I made visits, 
from time to time, to the office of the Western Edison Company to talk with Frank 
Gorton and watched the operation of the dynamos. 

In 1885 I changed the name of my company from Neenah & Menasha Gas Com- 
pany to the Neenah & Menasha Gas & Electric Company, and I bought and in- 
stalled an Edison Three Wire Central Station Equipment on the Neenah water 
power and a Vandepole Arc Machine for street lighting, and this was four years be- 
fore either the White House or the streets of Washington were lighted by electricity. 
The Edison current was low tension, requiring large copper wires to carry the cur- 
rent, which made it impractical for use any great distance. 

Then George Westinghouse developed the alternating current machine, develop- 
ing a very high tension current to travel long distances on a small wire, and this high 



A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



tension current was changed to low tension by passage through a Stanley trans- 
former on a pole near the building to be lighted. 

The Edison people denounced this method of lighting as Man Killing Current, 
and caused a bill to be introduced in the New York Legislature for the purchase of a 
Westinghouse dynamo to be used for the execution of criminals, instead of hanging, 
and the Westinghouse Company fought the passage of this bill for some time, but 
Kdison won, and the execution of criminals by hanging was changed to execution 
by a Westinghouse Electric Current, and that system has since been adopted in 
most, if not all, of the other states since then, and the question of danger from the 
high tension current has long since been forgotten. 

About the year 1890, I sold the Edison Equipment and Bare Copper Mine to 
the Phillips Lumber Company, owned by John R. Davis, of Neenah, and it was 
installed by him in Phillips, Wisconsin, and I sold the Vandepole Arc Machine and 
lamps to a saw mill in Merrill, Wisconsin, and installed a Thompson Huston Arc 
and Alternating System to cover all of Neenah and Menasha, and, in 1893, I sold 
the whole gas and electric property to George S. Davis, of the Winnebago Paper 
Company, and he, a few years later, sold to John I. Beggs, who had already bought 
the Appleton Utilities, and he enlarged the Appleton properties and sent both gas 
and electricity to Neenah. 




Human history is in essence a history of ideas. 

Herbert George Wei.i.s 



NEENAH-MENASHA FAMILY SERVICE, INC. 

The objective of Family Service is the coordination of services offered 
by the Emergency Society, a confidential, non-sectarian family serv- 
ice agency offering emergency relief and case work service to families 
and individuals where sickness, financial difficulties and other causes 
create problems needing assistance and counseling. Neenah, Menasha 
and adjoining townships comprise the area covered by this service. 

Prior to 1940 the Social Service Committee of the Emergency So- 
ciety did the investigating and all necessary work involved. A trained 
social service worker served until October, 194a, when pressure of war 
took her to other areas. On that date Mrs. Ruth Falvey, a member of 
the Emergency Society, took over the duties on a half-time basis. Her 
office was in the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and was listed as 
Social Service Aid. In February, 1949, “Emergency Family Service” 
was chosen as the new name of the Social Service Aid Group, and an 
office was rented at 514 North Commercial Street, Neenah. 

In the same year Mrs. Falvey began her duties as Executive Direc- 
tor on a full-time basis, and a part-time secretary was employed. Miss 
Carol Quella served in that capacity for several years. Mrs. Alice 
DuBois joined the staff in 1955, and is presently serving as part-time 
secretary. 

In 1955 the organization incorporated under the name of Neenah- 
Menasha Family Service, Inc., and in January, 1957, became a mem- 
ber of the Community Chest. 

Compiled by Mrs. TV. B. Bel/ack 



241 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL 
ORGANIZATIONS 



COMPILED BY JOHN TOLVERSON 

zA.zA.U.W. 

The Neenah-Menasha branch of the American Association of Uni- 
versity Women was founded in September, 1940, with 40 charter 
members. The first president was Miss Vivian Davies. 

The purpose of this branch is to unite the alumnae of A.A.U.W. 
approved colleges and universities for practical educational work, to 
concentrate and increase their influence in the community for the solu- 
tion of social and civic problems, to participate in the development 
and promotion of the policies and program of the American Associa- 
tion of University Women, to contribute to its growth and influence, 
and to cooperate in its state and regional work. 

The group contributes college scholarships for local high school girl 
graduates, and to scholarships and fellowships in the United States 
and abroad for both American and foreign women scholars. 

In addition, since 1944, there have been local study groups open to 
the public. In 1957-58, there are study groups on international rela- 
tions, education, creative writing, music, literature, and travel and 
hobbies. 

The branch instigated the formation of the Civic Music Association 
in 1945-46; in 1947-48, set up a youth hostel; several years, they have 
sponsored art exhibits by local artists; and, since 1951, sponsored a 
number of foreign exchange students. 

Each year, hostesses from A.A.U.W. help new teachers in Neenah 
and Menasha to become oriented and to make friends. Senior girls 
from the local high schools are entertained each year, and encouraged 
to go to college. A Future Teachers Club at Neenah High School, 
sponsored by the education study group, encourages consideration of 
teaching as a career. 

At the monthly meetings, there are educational as well as entertain- 
ing programs or lectures. Some are presented by the membership, and 
some by outside speakers. 



242 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



-43 



The membership in 1957-58 is 127. The present officers are: 

President — Mrs. Thomas Christoph 

1 st Vice President — Mrs. James Jersild 
2nd Vice President — Mrs. R. P. Galloway 

Secretary — Mrs. Stanton Charlton 

Treasurer — Mrs. Robert Schwier 

Asst. Treasurer — Miss Suzanne Gerhardt 

Submitted by Mrs . W. //. Burger 



i American Region Hawley -Die ckhojf Tost JJ 

Early in 1919 the citizens of Neenah, led by Mr. C. B. Clark, pro- 
vided an Army and Navy Club, in the Krueger block, using the re- 
maining funds in the War Chest for this cause. Mr. Ray A. Vander- 
Walker was elected President of this newly organized club. 

In September of 1919 the members of this club decided to apply for 
a charter in the newly organized “American Legion Department of 
Wisconsin.” The following servicemen signed the application and 
secured the charter of the “Neenah Post #33” — 



Ray A. VanderWalker 
Harry W. Peck 
George Limpert 
Arthur W. Johnson 
Herbert W. Holbrook 
Lawrence M. Lambert 
Harvey M. Schwartz 



Belvin Kurtz 
Charles M. Sorenson 
Harvey A. Kuhr 
Rignor E. Madsen 
Fred M. Runde 
Roy W. Jordan 
Lawrence A. Eisenach 



The first Commander elected to serve the new Post was Mr. E. D. 
Beals. 

At the first meeting it was decided to name the Post in honor of the 
first Neenah man who lost his life in the service of his country — 
James P. Hawley, who was lost in the sinking of the Tuscania off the 
coast of Ireland early in February, 1918; hence the name “James P. 
Hawley Post #33.” After World War IT the name of the first man to 
give his life in this great war, Douglas Dieckhoff, who was killed at 
Pearl Harbor, was added to make it the Hawley-Dieckhoff Post #33. 
This name was made official in October of 1944. 



2 44 



A HISTORY () F N E E N A II 



The American Legion’s objectives are best expressed in the Pre- 
amble to the Constitution. It is as follows: “For God and country, we 
associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To uphold 
and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to 
maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred per 
cent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our 
associations in the great wars; to inculcate a sense of individual 
obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autoc- 
racy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of 
might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and 
transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; 
to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual 
helpfulness.” 

Child welfare and youth programs have long been of primary in- 
terest to The American Legion. Our local Post sponsors a Junior 
Legion Baseball Team, which gives the boys ample participation in 
competitive sports. Two high school senior boys are sponsored each 
year to go to Badger Boys State, at Ripon, Wisconsin, for one week. 
Here they learn the proper functions of local and state government. 
Athletic Awards are given to two high school seniors each year for 
their combined scholastic and athletic achievements. Assistance is 
also always given to needy veterans and their families. Any veteran 
may get legal counsel through the American Legion. 

Any person is eligible for membership in The American Legion, who, 
being a citizen of the United States at the time of his or her entry- 
in to the Service, served on active duty in the Armed Forces of any 
governments associated with the United States during any of the 
following periods: April 1 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918; December 7, 
1941, to September 2, 1945; June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. 

Officers of the Hawley-Dieckhoff Post #33 for 1957 are: 



Commander 

First Vice Commander 

Second Vice Commander 

Adjutant 

Finance Officer 

Chaplain 

Sgts.-at-Arms 



Charles Acton 
Tom Atkins 
Sigmund Akstulewicz 
Kenneth Lewis 
George Runde 
George Henebry 

Robert Carlson and Dave Kibble 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



245 



The Executive Committee consists of Douglas Anderson, Chairman; 
Charles Acton, Tom Atkins, Kenneth Lewis, Jack Meyer, George 
Runde, Casper Olson, Florian Radtke, and Howard Penney. 

Submitted by Douglas D. Anderson 



c American J^egion ^Auxiliary to the Ha wley -D ieckh off Tost dfo. JJ, 
i Department of Wisconsin 

In December of 1919, Post Commander Frank J. Schneller appointed 
Edward D. Beals and Harold Lyons to call a meeting for the purpose 
of organizing an Auxiliary to the James P. Hawley Post No. 33. The 
Post had been named in honor of James P. Hawley, the first Neenah 
man to give his life in the service of his country in World War I. 
James P. Hawley lost his life in the sinking of the Tuscania off the 
coast of Ireland early in February 1918. In October 1944, the name of 
the Post was changed to Hawley-Dieckhoff Post No. 33 in honor of 
Douglas Dieckhoff, who gave his life in the service of his country at 
Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, in World War II. 

Mr. Beals and Mr. Lyons appointed Mrs. Frank J. Schneller as 
assistant in organizing the Auxiliary. A meeting was called April 9, 
1920, when fifteen women signed the application to procure a charter. 
The charter was held open until Armistice Day, November n, 1920, 
and closed with a membership of 97. 

The American Legion Auxiliary was formed for the purpose of aid- 
ing Idle American Legion in carrying out the great program of peace- 
time service to America to which The American Legion is dedicated. 
All of its activities are designed to promote the work of The American 
Legion and to help The American Legion reach its objectives. Al- 
though often working independently on projects of its own, the 
Auxiliary has no purposes that are apart from the aims of The 
American Legion. It is in every sense an “Auxiliary” to The American 
Legion and its members serve side by side with the men of The Ameri- 
can Legion in a spirit of unselfish devotion to the well-being of the 
American republic. 



A HIS T O R Y O F N E E N A II 



246 



The first meeting was held June 2, 1920. The following officers were 
elected: 



President 
Vice President 
Secretary 
Treasurer 



Mrs. Maurice K. Barnett 
Mrs. Pearl Brinkerhoff 
Miss Nellie Hubbard 
Mrs. Grace Hawley McMahon 



The Executive Committee: Mrs. D. S. Greenwood 

Mrs. Helen Kimberly Stuart 
Miss Lucy Harrison 



Membership in the Auxiliary is limited to the Mothers, Wives, 
Sisters and Daughters of all men and women who were in the Armed 
Forces of the United States during any of the following periods: 

April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 
December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945 
June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953 

There are two classes of membership. Those over 18 years of age 
constitute the Senior membership while those under 18 years of age 
make up the Junior membership. 

Meetings are held the second Monday evening of each month. 

The meeting is opened by reciting the Flag Salute, the singing of 
the National Anthem and the reading of the Preamble of the National 
Constitution of the American Legion: 

“For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: 

To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to main- 
tain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; 
to preserve the memories and incidents of our Association in the Great Wars; to 
inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to 
combat autocracy of both the classes and masses; to make right the Master of 
Might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to pos- 
terity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to participate in and to 
contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of the American Legion; 
to consecrate and sanctify our association by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.” 

The Neenah Unit has a long and memorable history of achieve- 
ment. A summary of the work can be partially explained by naming 
some of the Standing and Appointed Committees: — 

Americanism and Badger Girls State Civil Defense and National Security 
Legislative Activities Pan-American Study 



FRATKRNAI, AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



2 47 



Child Welfare 


Poppy Activities 


Community Service 


Hospital and Welfare 


Rehabilitation 


Mental Health Project 


Junior Activities 






The Unit is active in the Winnebago 
Past-Presidents Parley. 1957 officers: 


County Council 


President 


Mrs. 


Arthur J . Kessler 


First Vice President 


Mrs. 


Roland Luckow 


Second Vice President 


Mrs. 


Elsie Theimer 


Secretary 


Mrs. 


Amanda Robinson 


Treasurer 


Mrs. 


Frank Raddu 


Historian 


Mrs. 


Emil C. Kollath 


Chaplain 


Mrs. 


Douglas Anderson 


Sergean t-at-arms 


Mrs. 


Robert Carlson 


Asst. Sgt.-at-arms 


Mrs. 


Bernice Prestridge 


Musician 


Mrs. 


Alicia Bart 


Executive Committee: 






Mrs. M. E. Barnett 


Mrs. 


Harold Seymour 


Mrs. Florian Radtke 


Mrs. 


Emmett Wood 


Mrs. R. Kolasinski 


Mrs. 


Louis Schmidt 



Submitted by Mrs. Arthur J. Kessler and Mrs. Emil C. Kollath, July j/, 1956 



business and 'Professional Women s (flub 

This club was started in May, 1928, and the following were among the 
charter members: Lynda Hollenbeck (first president), Clara Bloom, 
Mathilda Dunning, Edna Robertson, Esther Babbitt, Mrs. W. Z. 
Stuart, Ruth Sparks. The objectives for which the club was formed 
were: 

To elevate the standards for women in business and in the professions; 

To promote the interest of business and professional women; 

To bring about a spirit of cooperation among business and professional women of 
the United States; 

To extend opportunities to business and professional women through education 
along lines of industrial, scientific, and vocational activities. 

Our own local club at present is giving three scholarships to de- 
serving young women every year, one each to Neenah High School, 
Menasha High School, and St. Mary’s High School. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



248 

At least 75% of the club membership must be actively engaged in 
business or in the professions. 

The officers for 1956 -57 are: 

Florence Forbes, President 
Helen Bell, First Vice President 
Mildred Webster, Second Vice President 
Marie Kellett, Secretary 
Mabel Kramer, Treasurer 
Ruth Neabling, Executive Board 
Lauretta Schultz, Executive Board 
Eva Johnson, Past President 

Compiled by Florence Forbes 



‘Danish ‘Brotherhood jQodge 

Danish Brotherhood Lodge No. 2, was organized January 14, 1882, 
with thirty-three members. The last one of these, Casper Casperson, 
died March 24, 1924. 

The Brotherhood is a fraternal insurance society with national 
headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. Membership is limited to Danish 
men. Neenah lodge had at one time 484 insured men and meetings 
were held in Dana Club hall, but when immigration from Denmark 
ceased, the membership gradually decreased until today there are 
only thirty-eight left. Meetings are held in the homes of members the 
last Saturday of each month. 

The 1956 officers are: President, C. C. Steftensen; Secretary, Elbert 
Thompson; Treasurer, William Petersen, who has held that office for 
thirty-five years. 

By Andrew Andersen 



Daughters of <iAmerican 'Revolution 

The Neenah Chapter, Daughters of American Revolution, was or- 
ganized at the home of Mrs. Helen Kimberly Stuart, 406 East 
Wisconsin Ave., February 22, 1928. Mrs. Stuart was the organizing 
regent, served as Chapter Regent for eight years, and was State Re- 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 249 

gent from 1936 to 1939. There were 23 charter members, and the 
following officers were elected: 

Regent — Mrs. Helen K. Stuart 
Vice Regent — Mrs. Arthur Ritger 
Chaplain — Miss Damie Wheeler 
Recording Secretary — Miss Caroline Wheeler 
Corresponding Sec. — Mrs. D. C. Jones 
Treasurer -Mrs. L. J. Pinkerton 
Registrar — Miss Helen D. Wheeler 
Historian — Mrs. J. N. Bergstrom 
Flag Custodian — Miss Jessie Wheeler 

The motto for all D.A.R. organizations is “Home and Country.” 
Some of the objects of the Society are to perpetuate the memory and 
spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence, 
to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to acquire and desig- 
nate historical spots. 

The Neenah Chapter has a fine record of outstanding work in edu- 
cation for underprivileged boys and girls. The Chapter has also helped 
to maintain 13 D.A.R. approved schools. One of these is Northland 
College, Ashland, Wis. Liberal contributions have been made to 
Northland College Library. 

An outstanding project is the presentation of Good Citizenship 
awards to Senior High School girls who possess high qualities of 
character as a basis of good citizenship. Neenah Chapter now sponsors 
a senior girl from four different High Schools — -Neenah and Menasha 
High Schools are included in the list. 

Among many completed civic projects are the placing and engrav- 
ing of a marker to designate a site near the original Doty Cabin; in 
1932 about 15 or 20 Washington elms were planted on Kimberly 
Point Park. 

DAR Centennial Tea was held July 22-23, 1948, to observe our 
state centennial. James Duane Doty, great grandson of Governor 
Doty, came for the event from Florida. The tea was held at Mrs. 
Stuart’s home. 

The present membership is 55 women. 1957-58 Officers are: 

Regent — Mrs. H. A. Heller Second Vice Regent — Mrs. E. C. Joyce 

First Vice Regent — Mrs. L. A. Wienbergen Chaplain — Mrs. H. A. Johnson 



250 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Recording Secretary — Mrs. W. E. Smith 
Corresponding Secretary — Mrs. H. C. Gray 
Treasurer — Mrs. A. P. Austin 
Registrar — Mrs. H. M. Bishop 
Historian — Mrs. Arthur Ritger 
Librarian — Mrs. H. O. Borgen 

By Mrs. Arthur Ritger 



Delphian Society 

The first meeting of the Delphian Society was held on July 13, 19185 
with eighteen charter members. Mrs. C. J. Awsumb was the first 
President, Miss Celia Boyce, Vice President, and Mrs. F. J. Schneller, 
Secretary-Treasurer. Charter members listed were: Mrs. Awsumb, 
Miss Boyce, Mrs. Schneller, Mrs. F. C. Barroughs, Mrs. J. M. Dono- 
van, Mrs. Fred Elwers, Mrs. E. E. Jandrey, Mrs. N. C. Jersild, Mrs. 
J. F. Kaufman, Mrs. Clarence Schultz, Mrs. Neale Spoor, Mrs. 
Harvey Young, Miss Marion Young, Mrs. John Mayer, Mrs. William 
Tauber, Mrs. J. O. Kuehl and Mrs. Charles Sommers. The group 
presently consists of twenty-five members. Of the charter members, 
only two, Mrs. Jersild and Mrs. Donovan, remain as of this writing. 

1957-58 Officers are: President, Mrs. G. W. Petersen; Vice Presi- 
dent, Mrs. H. C. Schultz; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. N. C. Jersild. 

The society was organized as a study group. Current “best sellers” 
are reviewed. 

Compiled by Mrs. F. F. Marlin 
‘Disabled American Veterans 

Disabled American Veterans, Chapter No. 46, was organized in 
1945. The group meets regularly every second Tuesday of the month. 
To be eligible for membership, the participants must have been 
wounded or otherwise injured during the time of war. Purpose of the 
group is to take care of the disabled from all wars, and be of service 
whenever possible, to them. 

Present officers: Peter Steffens, Commander; Alfred Goeser, Adju- 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



251 



tant Treasurer; Harold Zimmer, Financial Officer; and Norman 
Junion, Officer of the Day. There are 52 members at the present time. 



Eclectic 'R eading Circle 

The Eclectic Reading Circle was organized on January 26, 1882, 
through the efforts of Miss Anna L. Proctor and a group of interested 
men and women of Neenah. 

The committee appointed to draw up the constitution was Miss 
Minnie Gittins, James Jamison and Wallace Patterson. Tt stated that 
the object of the society was to form a society for mutual benefit and 
entertainment. Charter members numbered 42. 

First officers were: President — Miss Maggie Shiells, Vice Presidents 
— Miss Minnie Gittins, Charles Bergstrom; Secretary — E. M. 
Proctor. 

Present officers are: President — Mrs. W. J. Edwards; Vice President 
— Mrs. Frank Merkley; Secretary — Mrs. Harold Howman. 

Miss Anna L. Proctor, chief organizer and charter member, served 
as President for many years before her death on March 22, 1947. 

Submitted by Miss Olla M. Perry 



Economics Club of Jfeenah C? Menasha 
Organized 1898. 

Admitted to State Federation — 1900. Admitted to General Federa- 
tion — 1914. 

Meetings held in library auditorium, Menasha, first and third 
Fridays of the month at 2:00 p.m. 

Programs consist of outstanding speakers on art, music, education, 
travel, international relations, literature, book reviews, etc. 

The Club also sponsors a music department. This department 
meets on the fourth Monday of each month from September through 
April. It is federated with the Wisconsin and National Federation of 
Music Clubs. 



2^2 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Present (1957) officers are: 

Mrs. Lynn F. Cooper, President 
Miss Lorraine Dennhardt, First Vice President 
Mrs. Byron Clark, Second Vice President 
Mrs. William Dowling, Secretary 
Mrs. Curt Smith, Treasurer 

Submitted by Mrs. Lynn Cooper 






Clks jQodge 6/6 

In 1901 a group of thirty young men from Menasha and Neenah were 
taken into membership by the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks and were granted a charter in the Order. The installation and 
initiation ceremonies were held in borrowed clubrooms at the old 
German Odd Fellows Hall. In addition to the thirty members 
initiated that day, the group was strengthened by the transfer of 
six members from the Appleton Lodge. 

The first officers of the Lodge were: George A. Loescher, Exalted 
Ruler; Esteemed Leading Knight, Christ Walter; Esteemed Loyal 
Knight, Fred Huband; Esteemed Lecturing Knight, J. L. Youmans; 
Secretary, E. A. Oberweiser; Treasurer, William Arnemann; Tiler, 

O. J. Welsch; Trustees, F. S. Burroughs, Fred Loescher, and James 
Thom; Esquire, Greg Lenz; Chaplain, James Thom; Organist, George 

P. Pierce; Inner Guard, R. W. Schlegel. 

In 1950 the name of the organization was changed from Menasha 
to J\eenah-Menasha B.P.O.E. #676. Present membership is over 450. 

For the first few months the Lodge maintained clubrooms at 131 
Main Street, and then moved to 198 Main Street, Menasha. In 1953 
the Lodge moved into its new building at 15 Mill Street, Menasha. 
Many Twin City organizations make use of the attractive dining and 
social facilities which the Lodge makes available to them. 

The history of the local Lodge has been distinguished by its active 
support of the many charitable and patriotic activities which are 
supported by the Elks both nationally and at the local level. Chief 
among the latter are the work of the Crippled Children’s Committee, 
which handles an average of four local cases a year and has sponsored 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



253 



the presentation of orthopedic equipment to Theda Clark Hospital. 
Other activities have included furnishing Christmas baskets to needy 
families, sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop, presentation of an annual 
Mag Day program, and sponsoring recruitment drives during World 



War IF for the Flying Cadets, Nu 
1957 officers of the Lodge are: 

Exalted Ruler, Richard Laemmrich 
Leading Knight, George Nelson 
Loyal Knight, William Giese 
Lecturing Knight, Alton Gaertner 
Secretary, Milton Boehm 
Treasurer, Richard Hill 
Tiler, Gust Schueller 
Esquire, Andrew Fockel 
Chaplain, Robert Pagel 

Submitted by John Backes 



*ses Corps and Engineers Corps. 

Inner Guard, John Jagerson 
Organist, Elmer Schultheis 

Trustees: 

Ray Fink, Chairman 
John Backes 
Harold Haberman 
John Klein 

Harry Kosloski, Sec’y* 



The Emergency Society of j^eenah and Menas ha 

The Neenah-Menasha Emergency Society began informally with a 
group of young Neenah and Menasha women sewing for the victims 
of the San Francisco earthquake in April 1906. They later began to 
sew for the hospital. At the suggestion of a local physician, they or- 
ganized formally, enlarged the group, and established regular meeting 
days. It was Ellen Lee Banta who suggested the name “Emergency 
Society. ” From time to time the membership has been increased 
until today it stands at thirty-five. 

The charter members were: Miss Helen Babcock, Mrs. John N. 
Bergstrom, Mrs. George Banta, Sr. (deceased), Mrs. J. C. Kimberly, 
Mrs. L. J. Pinkerton (deceased). 

A few accomplishments are: 

The Visiting Nurse Association of Neenah and Menasha was staffed 
in 1908 and was first financed by the Emergency Society. 

The Emergency Society has helped the hospital throughout the 
years by giving nursery supplies, endowing a free bed, making gifts of 
needed equipment, equipping the entire maternity floor of the new 
wing in 1948, providing a twice-a-week free book cart service to the 



254 



A HISTORY O F N E E N A H 



patients, providing Christmas trees in the wards and gifts to the 
chronic patients, furnishing children’s size furniture in the pediatric 
section and providing a ceiling projector with a library of films for 
those unable to hold a book. 

A Thrift Shop was opened in 1930. It is open half a day per week 
and is operated by members. 

During the depression of the thirties, milk, cod liver oil, tooth- 
brushes and tonsillectomies were purchased or paid for by the 
Society. 

During World War II, cookies were made and shipped to U.S.O. 
centers in Wisconsin. 

Prior to 1940, the Social Service Committee Members did Social 
Service investigating and the work involved. In 1940 Mrs. Alice 
Peterson was hired as a trained Social Service Worker. In 1943 
Mrs. Ruth Falvey took over the duties as Executive Director of the 
Neenah-Menasha Family Service. Neenah-Menasha Family Service 
is a private, family service agency, non-sectarian, which gives emer- 
gency relief and case work service to families and individuals where 
sickness, financial difficulties and other causes have created problems 
needing material assistance and counseling. The area services Neenah 
and Menasha and the townships. In May of 1956, the Emergency 
Society ceased to finance the Neenah-Menasha Family Service as it 
became a member of the Community Chest. 

The elected officers (1956) are: 

President — Mrs. Seldon Spencer 
Vice President — Mrs. Hugh Moore 
Second Vice President — Mrs. John Grimes 
Secretary — Mrs. James Keating 
Treasurer — Mrs. Fred Deutsch 

Besides the five charter members and thirty-five active members, 
there are thirty-five inactive members who have served the commu- 
nity through their work in the Emergency Society for fifteen or more 
years. 

Submitted by Mrs. Seldon Spencer 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 

Equitable Reserve Association 

Early in 1897 nine business and professional men in Neenah met and 
discussed a plan for the organization of a fraternal life insurance 
society. In the group and its first officers were: President, Frank T. 
Russell, who was also president of the Neenah Paper Company; Vice 
President, E. A. Williams, general insurance agent and a former super- 
intendent of schools; Past President, J. P. Jasperson, proprietor of 
the Jasperson House; Medical Examiner, J. R. Barnett, M.D.; 
Secretary, Merritt L. Campbell, lawyer; Treasurer, J. C. Hilton, 
proprietor of a jewelry store; Auditor, W. G. Brown, banker; Warden, 
Dr. Orrin Thompson, dentist; E. L. Barnes, manager. T. B. Blair 
was the new society’s first editor. 

Mr. Russell, in 1903, was succeeded by E. A. Williams as President, 
who with Merritt L. Campbell as Secretary, brought the organization 
to the status of one of the leading life insurance companies of the 
State and it has been so carried on by succeeding officers. 

The first job that faced this group after they had decided on the 
plan, was to secure 500 applications for membership and life in- 
surance. The applications were completed, and on August 14, 1897, 
the men met and elected officers. On August 17, 1897 the charter to 
do business under the name of Equitable Fraternal Union was issued 
by the Secretary of State. 

The first offices of the new organization were on the second floor 
of the Winnebago Building, corner of West Wisconsin xWenue and 
North Church St., now IMews -Record office. When the growth of the 
society made these quarters inadequate, a Home Office building was 
erected on the corner of South Commercial St. and East Doty Avenue. 
The building was dedicated on August 19, 1909. William Waters of 
Oshkosh was architect. This building was described by Henry Aider 
of Oshkosh as one of the few remaining buildings of classical design 
that is true to the principle of the Greek method of construction. It too 
is an example of what, according to Mr. Aider, is expressed in the 
“Parthenon” in Athens, Greece. The officers and building committee 
of the Association at the time it was planned are entitled to credit 
for the construction of an outstanding building, which it was at the 
time, and still is. It is a credit to the business district of Neenah. 



2s6 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




Equitable Reserve Association Home Office Building 



In 1902 ten men in Oskhosh organized another fraternal life in- 
surance society. This group was also made up of leading business, 
professional and industrial men of their city. After all legal require- 
ments were met, this society was chartered under the name Fraternal 
Reserve Association. On January 1, 1930 a merger of the two societies 
was completed under the name Equitable Reserve Association. The 
assets of the Equitable Fraternal Union were $5,694,000, which 
coupled with those of the Fraternal Reserve Association of $1,659,000, 
gave the Equitable Reserve Association a total of $7,353,000 in assets, 
which now exceed $16,000,000, with insurance in force in excess of 
$55,000,000. 

Since the organization of the society, the total benefits paid to 
members and beneficiaries of members is in excess of $32,000,000. 
The annual receipts from life insurance premiums paid by members 
and interest earned on the invested assets of the society are approxi- 
mately $2,000,000. 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



2 57 



'I'he present officers of the Association are: 

John S. Tolversen, President 

I .eon H. Tolversen, Vice President and Treasurer 

R. I). Mol/.ow, Vice President and General Attorney 

M. J. Kmerson, Vice President and Director of Agencies 

Norton J. Williams, Past President 

R. Gordon Pope, Secretary 

Lorren A. Schroeder, Assistant Secretary. 



Equitable Reserve ^Association ih[eenah ^Assembly iS[o. / 

Equitable Reserve Association Neenah Assembly No. i, then 
Equitable Fraternal Union Assembly No. I, the first of the local 
assemblies under the parent society, held its organization meeting 
August 23, 1897. Its membership was 123. Officers elected were: 
President, W. M. Gilbert; Vice President, C. W. Johnson; Past 
President, T. B. Blair; Secretary, Stephen Stilp; Treasurer, M. E. 
Barnett; Adviser, L. E. Scott; Warden, Geo. G. Barlow; Trustees, 
G. Ulrich, J. F. Zonne, Carl Icks. 

Early meetings of the new assembly were held in the Home Office 
rooms in the Winnebago Building. Later, until suitable rooms were 
provided in the new Home Office building, completed in 1909, the 
Assembly met in the former Dana Club Hall situated on the south 
side of East Doty Avenue in the middle of the block. 

The membership total at the present time, including men, women 
and children is approximately 1,600. 

Present officers of the Assembly are: 

President: Lorren A. Schroeder 
Vice President: Margaret Hinterthuer 
Adviser: John Williams 
Treasurer: Howard Hinterthuer 
Trustee lor three years: Alice Rausch 
Trustee for two years: Merton Law 
Trustee for one year: Mrs. Henry Melchert 
Past President: Francis Olson 

Secretary, by appointment from Home Office: Howard Hinterthuer. 



A HISTORY O F N E E NA1I 



258 

£'x J^jbris (‘lub 

The Ex Libris Club was organized in 1951 by Mrs. Robert Thom and 
Mrs. James Jersild, the purpose being to become better acquainted 
with the best of current books. A program committee studies the 
available books, and each member is given a book to review for the 
group. The club meets on the third Wednesday of each month. 

First President was Mrs. Robert Thom; Mrs. James Anderson 
presently holds that office. 



Cjermauui "Benevolent Society 

The foundation of the present Germania Society was first laid on 
December 1, 1856, when nine men of German descent started a 
society with the purpose of helping the sick and burying the dead, 
under the leadership of Dr. Henry Stark, President, Karl Krebs, 
Secretary and F. H. Schrage, Treasurer. 

In November of i860, Mr. Curtis Reed donated the land on 
Broad Street, where the present Trinity Lutheran Church now stands, 
for a building to house the organization. This led to the resolution to 
build a hall. With only $27.50 in the treasury, each member was 
assessed $10.00, to be paid in monthly installments. This led to the 
resignation of nine out of the twenty-six members. With true German 
courage and perseverance, the small group did not give up hope, but 
set to work bringing logs and stones to the building site, donating 
their time and efforts. 

On July 4, 1862, the first ball was held in the new hall, which was 
a mere frame at the time, lacking even plaster, but by July 4, 1863, 
the hall was completed. 

Early in the year 1866, death benefits for members was raised from 
$20 to $100 and for members’ wives from $15 to $50, each member 
being assessed 50^ for the death of a fellow member, and 25^ for the 
death of a member’s wife. 

In 1862 another German Society was founded, the “Menasha 
Turner Society.” This society cultivated the old German (Turner) or 
gymnastic exercises, for the furtherance of health and muscular 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



259 



strength. Combined with this purpose was the offering of mutual 
benefits to its sick members, and to lend support, as much as possible, 
to widows and orphans of deceased members. They purchased a lot 
on Chute Street and built what is now known as “Germania Hall.” 
All members also worked without wages to erect the same. 

The two societies, however, did not get along well, one provoked 
the other and misunderstandings arose. Moved by the old German 
adage, “In unity there is strength,” a plan was conceived in 1888 to 
combine the two societies, under the sponsorship of Leo Neugebauer, 
Henry Bachman, John Frost, Werner Winz and Michael Schwartz- 
bauer. A committee was appointed by each society, and by July of 
1888, the “Concordia Society” and the “Menasha Turner Society” 
united into one group, under the name “German Unterstutzungs 
Verein.” Over one hundred members were present at the actual 
signing of the merger paper. The combined balance in cash on hand 
at this time was $2,673.35. 

The first officers of the new society were: President, Werner Winz; 
Vice President, Michael Schwartzbauer; Recording Secretary, Henry 
Bachman; Financial Secretary, Karl Jung, and Treasurer, Anton 
Drevis. 

In 1927 the society amended its articles to change from a German- 
speaking society to an English-speaking society. Assets were over 
$30,000. 

In 1939 a new constitution and by-laws were incorporated, and the 
name of the society was changed frcm “German Unterstutzungs 
Verein” to“Germania Benevolent Society,” which name it bears today. 

During this 100 years of constant growth 1,481 members have been 
initiated into this society, with assets of over $70,000. 

In April 1948 a dinner and dance was held honoring members with 
50 years or more of membership (indicates deceased 50-year 
members since 1948). 



* Frank Schmidt 
Win. Tuchscherer 
Frank Tuchscherer 
*Wm Pagel 
Wm. Schultz 
*John J. Stommel 



*Jos. Stommel 
*John Pingel 
*Wm. Ruether 
John Schultz 
Frank Heller, Sr. 
*Wm. Neubauer 



26 o 



OF NEENAH 



A HIS T O R Y 



*Chas. Neubauer 
Frank Adrian, Sr. 

* Frank Oberwieser 

* Richard Stelow 

* Peter Krautkramer 
*Wm. Knoelke 
♦Jacob Pscheitt 
Sigmund Resch 
♦John J. Ullman 
♦Louis Schmitzer 



*Val M. Landgraf 
*Wm, Welsch 
♦Peter Heup 
Julius Miller 
John Zeininger 
♦Frank Rippl 
♦Geo. Bayer 
♦Herman Foth 
♦John Pack 
♦August Heup 



Present officers are: 

President — Harold J. Berro 
Vice President — Louis Herziger 
Recording Secretary — Walter Foth 
Financial Secretary — Walter Girard 
Treasurer — Fred M. Stilp 

Trustees — Cornelius Rippl, Lawrence Pontow, Walter Bredendick 
Submitted by Harold J. Berro 



Cjolden Age £lub 

The germ of the idea was planted by Reverend Craig, of Milwaukee, 
at a Community Council meeting February 21, 1949, in Neenah. 
Rev. Craig had been active in starting Golden Age Clubs in the Mil- 
waukee area, and explained the clubs and told of their success and 
popularity. 

As a result of that meeting, several people of the Council developed 
a plan to survey Twin City residents sixty years of age or older. 
Churches, social groups and the County Welfare Department co- 
operated in sending out information and return-cards. About 280 
letters were sent out and only 36 carcis were returned expressing in- 
terest. An interest-inventory sheet was developed and volunteers 
personally interviewed those 36 people. 

When the interviews were completed and the results studied, the 
Neenah Recreation Department planned the first Golden Age 
Meeting. It was held exactly a year from Rev. Craig’s talk on Feb- 
ruary 21, 1950, at the Neenah Recreation Building. Twenty-seven 
people attended this first meeting. 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 26 1 

The Club meets the first and third Tuesday each month, September 
through May, and once a month during the summer. Average at- 
tendance is about 60, with a current registration of 1 68 people. 

For the past three years, the club has had its own monthly news 
letter, which is mailed to all those registered. 

Though the club was organized primarily for social recreation, it 
has several yearly service projects. The group stuffs envelopes and 
prepares Christmas Seals for mailing in Neenah, and contributes to 
the Christmas (jiving Committee of the Community Council. 

This group is open to anyone who is sixty years of age or over. It 
has helped to make life more enjoyable for the senior citizen, and its 
members are hopeful that the club and the community can increase 
its services to serve more people, and serve them better. 

Submilled by Bill Miller 



H. J. j^ewis Woman's 'Relief Corps 



The H. J. Lewis Woman’s Relief Corps was organized on April io, 
1890, in Neenah, Wisconsin, by Helen Charlton, of Broadhead, 
Wisconsin. There were eighteen charter members: Mines. Amanda 
Hunt, Maria L. Robinson, Ebbie Herrick, Nina F. Huie, Elizabeth 
Coats, Frances H. Groves, Julia 1 ). Meddins, Dora K. Herrick, 
Melisa Coats, Sarah S. Robinson, Kate Jenkins, Augusta Brown, 
Eletta Russell, Martha Clements, Mary Hart, Fanny Wheeler, Jane 
Young, and Eliza Lansing. The first officers were: 



President Amanda Hunt 

Sr. Vice President- Maria Robinson 

Jr. Vice President Abbie Herrick 

Secretary — Nina Huie 

Treasurer Elizabeth Coats 



Chaplain Frances Groves 
Conductor Julia Meddins 
Guard Rosella Law 
Asst. Conductor — Dora Herrick 
Asst. Guard Melisa Coats 



The objectives of the Woman’s Relief Corps are: To aid and assist 
the Grand Army of the Republic and to perpetuate the memory of its 
heroic dead; to assist such Union Veterans as need help and protec- 
tion, and to extend needful aid to their widows and orphans in finding 
them homes and employment and assuring them of sympathy and 
friends, and to maintain true allegiance to the United States of 



262 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



America, and to inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country 
among our children and in the community in which we live. These 
objectives have now been broadened to include assistance to veterans 
of all wars of the United States, in hospitals and homes, and to assist 
men and women presently in the services of our country. 

The Corps first met in the homes of members. As the membership 
increased from the original eighteen, a vacant store was rented. In 
1893, with a membership of 64, the Corps moved to the old Michelson 
Hall, located where the post office now stands. In 1907 S. A. Cook 
invited the Corps to meet in the then-new S. A. Cook Armory, with 
no cost to the organization. This financial arrangement was per- 
manently arranged for by Mr. Cook. Now, after sixty-six years, 
membership totals 91 members. 

Activities of the Corps, besides those included in the objectives, are: 
child welfare work, presentation of flags as requested by such groups 
as the Boy and Girl Scouts; various requests for relief, financial aid 
to local groups, such as Theda Clark Hospital, V N A, etc. 

1956 officers are: 

President— Evelyn Cash 

Sr. Vice President — Evelyn Moseng 

Jr. Vice President — Caroline Bergman 

Secretary — Mildred Liskow 

Treasurer — Ella Witteman 

Conductor — Meta Larsen 

Guard — Lena Fosterling 

Asst. Conductor- -Minnie Hanselman 

Asst. Guard— Mary Liskow 

Patriotic Instructor — Helen Rasmussen 

Press Correspondent - Maryie Hawkinson 

Color Bearers: Martha Eberlein, Doris Bogrand, Mary Staszak, Lucille Blank 
Musician — Edith Seymour 

'There are 4,651 members in the state of Wisconsin. 

Submitted by Freda Herrick^ Past Department President (45 year membership) 



Homemaker s 0ub 

The Neenah Homemaker’s Club is sponsored by the Neenah Voca- 
tional and Adult School and was organized in May, 1939, for the pur- 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 263 

pose of improving home and family living in this community. Mr. 
C. F. Hedges, Superintendent of the Neenah Schools, Mr. Carl 
Christensen, Director of Neenah Vocational and Adult School, and 
Mrs. Irma Kyle, Homemaking Teacher and Coordinator at the school, 
were the first persons to initiate the club work for homemakers as a 
part of the adult school program. 

Lay persons assisting in the development of the club were Mrs. 
C. B. Clark, Mrs. Hugh W. Roberts, Mrs. Karl Oberreich, Mrs. 
Albrecht Gross and Mrs. Henry Johnson. (Mrs. Kenneth Harwood 
was the first president.) Other objectives incorporated into the con- 
stitution were to give homemakers an opportunity for self-expression 
in all phases of homemaking and advance adult homemaking activities 
in the school and community. 

Programs are held monthly and speakers present talks pertaining 
to home and family life. F.ach year club members participate in a 
welfare project for the benefit of the community. In 1956 a one 
hundred dollar scholarship was presented to a practical nurse trainee 
at Theda Clark Memorial Hospital to help her meet the obligations 
of her training. Food baskets are given to aged persons at Christmas 
to make their day brighter. 

1957 officers of the club are: 

Miss Lorraine Dennhardt -President 
Mrs. Frank Raddu — Vice President 
Mrs. Gerald Llewellyn -Secretary 
Mrs. Frank Miller — Treasurer 
Mrs. Irma Kyle- Club Advisor 
Mrs. Fred Bentzen — Historian 

Submitted by Mrs. Herman Kramer 



Job's ‘ Daughters Bethel #57 

Job’s Daughters Bethel #57 of the International Order of Job’s 
Daughters of Neenah, Wisconsin, was organized in October, T949, 
and chartered in January, 1950. 

Purpose is to band young girls between the ages of 12 to 20 together 
for good fellowship, religious living and teaching. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



264 

First officers were: Miss Bessie Thompson, Honored Queen; Miss 
Beverly Block, Senior Princess, Miss Beverly Sagel, Junior Princess. 

The Guardian Council at that time was: Mrs. Marge Luebben, 
Guardian; Mr. Kenneth Bisel, Asst. Guardian; Mrs. Wm. Mueller, 
Guardian Secretary; Mrs. George Thompson, Treasurer; Mrs. Ed. 
Millis, Guardian Musician. 

Officers (October 1956) are: Miss Ann Kriess, Honored Queen; 
Miss Karen Rasmussen, Senior Princess; Miss Jeanine Johnson, 
Junior Princess. 

The two Guardians at present are: Mrs. Marge Luebben, Guardian; 
Mr. Joseph Beisenstein, Associate Guardian. 

Submitted by Mrs. Marge Luebben 
Kjngs "Daughters 

Mrs. Peter Reiss, of Sheboygan, approached Mrs. James Bergstrom 
and Mrs. George Gilbert to organize a King's Daughters circle in the 
Fox River Valley. In May 1923, Mrs. Bergstrom and Mrs. Gilbert 
invited one hundred friends to a luncheon at Riverview Country Club 
to meet Mrs. Reiss who gave an impressive talk on the International 
Order of King's Daughters and Sons. By working diligently through 
the summer Mrs. Bergstrom and Mrs. Gilbert and Mrs. Peter Paulson 
had two circles of twelve members each, one in Appleton and one in 
Neenah, ready for Mrs. Reiss to initiate into the Order in September. 

Two years later Mrs. Bergstrom, with the assistance of Mrs. 
Raymond Kelly, organized a Junior Circle of teen age girls, which is 
now known as the Frances Gilbert Circle, whose direction is under the 
guidance of the Service Circle. 

At a convention in 1934 the Wisconsin Branch voted to buy and 
support a Home for Aged Women as its Branch Work. It was through 
the untiring efforts of its Treasurer, Mrs. Peter Paulson of Appleton, 
that money was raised for the Wisconsin Branch to incorporate in 
1936 and buy a house in Sheboygan for $10,000. Subsequently, our 
Home became the direct charge of a Home Board of Sheboygan 
Daughters. Two funds were then established for the Home: The 
Maintenance Fund and The Endowment Fund. The latter now ex- 
ceeds $15,000. Contributions to these funds are made each year at 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 265 

the convention according to the ability and generosity of each Circle. 
The Home is open at a nominal fee to any elderly woman in good 
health and is equipped to provide for 8 or 9 women. 

The Service Circle, by raising money chiefly through the Sewing 
Committee and the Turnover Shop, has had many projects since 
1923. Among them: contributing approximately $200 each year to 
pack and distribute Christmas baskets to the needy; providing $100 
to the Menasha Public High School for hot lunches for children unable 
to pay for them. The Homemaker Service, completely organized, 
conducted and supported by the Service Circle fills a long felt need 
in the community. Trained women are available to enter a home and 
take over the duties of a mother when she is absent due to any sudden 
emergency such as illness. This service is available to all and paid for 
by the Service Circle when the financial burden is too great for the 
stricken family. 

In the past years the Circle purchased an Oxygen Tent for Theda 
Clark Hospital, and in 1948 furnished a four bed ward for the new 
hospital at a cost of $1,100. The Circle also purchased an audiometer 
that was used for many years by both the Neenah and Menasha 
schools. A pet project of the Circle for many years until it was dis- 
continued was the Children’s Ward of Sunnyview Tuberculosis 
Sanatorium. Each child’s birthday was remembered with gifts of 
necessities and playthings. A holiday never passed without appropri- 
ate decorations and favors such as Christmas trees, flowers, valentines 
and patriotic tray favors on national holidays. 

The Memorial Fund, established in 1945, provides a means of ac- 
knowledging the death of a friend or relative with a contribution to 
a charitable fund. This fund is used to provide camperships for needy 
children of the Twin Cities. 

Taken from the booklet "A Brief Summary of the History of The King’s Daughters and 
Sons,” submitted by Mrs. Iveaux IV. Andersen 



King's ‘Daughters and Sons, Welfare (fircle 

In 1949 the Welfare Circle of the International Order of King’s 
Daughters and Sons was organized by Mrs. John Plowright, on the 



•266 



A II I S T () R Y OF NKENAII 



instigation of Mrs. Silas Spengler and Mrs. Arthur Haselow of the 
Service Circle. 

After open discussion by the members regarding a name for the 
Circle, it was decided to accept the name Welfare Circle, feeling that 
this title was not only significant of the work we successfully aspire 
to achieve, but indicative of the unlimited scope given us in the 
name Welfare. 

Our first President was Mrs. John Plowright; Vice President, Mrs. 
Robert Goodman; Secretary, Mrs. Robert Asmuth; Treasurer, Mrs. 
David Middleton. Our present officers are: Mrs. Eric Isakson, 
President; Mrs. Warren Furbeck, Vice President; Mrs. Robert 
Thoms, Secretary; Mrs. Victor Schmidt, Treasurer; Mrs. Herbert 
Gaustad, Corresponding Secretary. 

The activities consist of: 

1) Toy Cart. This is a project for dispensing handicraft and toys to 
small children in Theda Clark Hospital. 

2) Cancer dressings. The American Cancer Society gives the Welfare 
Circle the material for these dressings, and they are dispensed through 
the Visiting Nurse Association to cancer patients in Winnebago 
County. In 1955-56 11,920 dressings were made and 11,980 dis- 
tributed. 

3) Charity. This consists in participation in the Community 
Council’s Christmas giving program, and donations to the King’s 
Daughters Home in Sheboygan. 

Submitted by Mrs. Eric Isakson 
Kfwanis (flub 

The Kiwanis Club of Neenah was formally organized February 2, 
1926, with 38 charter members. Appleton Kiwanis sponsored the new 
group. 

Norton J. Williams was elected president; Frank L. Fadner, vice 
president; William Campbell, treasurer; George E. Sande, district 
trustee; Dr. Truman J. Seiler, secretary, and Girvan Warner, T. M. 
Gilbert, C. W. Sawyer, George Elwers, Dr. Harry A. Briggs, William 
A. Daniel, and Harold R. Hanson, directors. 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL OKGANIZA T IONS l6j 

Of the 38 charter members, seven are still active in lviwanis: 
Geo. Sande, Dr. Seiler, H. E. Christoph, Norton Williams, Charles J. 
Madson, T. M. Gilbert, and Dr. J. P. Canavan. 

Current officers (1958) are Harold Gray, president; Alan Adrian, 
vice president; Paul Dodge, secretary and Harvey Dauffenbach, 
treasurer. Directors include Iveaux x^ndersen, Arch Dixon, Clark 
Harris, Harmon McCarthy, Dr. Canavan, Gordon Sawyer, and 
William Miller. 

Service to the community is one of the phases of Kiwanis principles 
and Neenah Kiwanis has contributed its measure to the betterment 
of Neenah and its people. Service activities range from sponsoring a 
high school boy at Badger Boys State each year, to entertaining 
more than 2,500 children annually at Halloween parties; . . . from 
honoring Neenah teachers at a public dinner party to bringing per- 
sonal Christmas gifts to patients at Theda Clark hospital. 

Jficolet Council A(o. i8j8 Knights of Qolumbus 

Nicolet Council No. 1838 K. of C., was instituted on May 7th, 
1916, with eighty-seven Charter Members. 

It was mostly through the efforts of Rev. George A. Clifford, and 
some twenty men: James Austin, Edward T. Corbett, James P. 
Cassidy, George O. Eckrich, James Foxgrover, Edward M. Hatton, 
Clement L. Jourdain, Albert F. Koser, Leo Koser, Jacob Liebl, Anton 
T. Lueckenbach, John Marx, Daniel D. Morrissey, George E. Murphy, 
George J. Mayer, Charles J. Oberweiser, Frank J. Sensenbrenner, 
John Schreibeis, Charles A. Sommers, Frank E. Sensenbrenner and 
John J. Weber, that a Charter was granted by the Supreme Council 
to establish a Council, in Menasha-Neenah. During World War 1, 
thirty-seven members entered the armed services, Urban Bergeron 
and Joseph Hubbard made the supreme sacrifice in this War. Dr. 
C. C. Del Marcelle was cited in dispatches and received the Croix 
de Guerre. 

At the beginning of World War II, Nicolet Council No. 1838 led 
the way in Menasha-Neenah by sponsorship of the first Mobile Blood 
Donor Unit for the convenience of the citizens of the two cities. 



268 



A HISTORY OF NEE N AH 



Thirty-eight members or about twelve per cent of the membership 
at the time saw active service in World War II. While several of the 
members were wounded, through the grace of (iod none of them were 
called upon to make the Supreme Sacrifice for their country. 

Nicolet Council in Menasha-Neenah was named after Jean Nicolet, 
probably the first white man to enter the region. He was a French 
Explorer sent out by Champlain and landed near the present city of 
Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1634. Jean Nicolet traveled down the Fox 
River, travelling through the cities of Menasha-Neenah. 

Today, March 25th, 1958 the Council has a membership of 445, and 
owns a Club House at 337 Broad St., Menasha. 



Kjiights of ‘Pythias 

Neenah Lodge, No. 80, Knights of Pythias, was instituted on May 
27, 1890. 

Nineteen prominent men signed the Charter, realizing the need for 
Fraternalism, with the basic principles of Friendship, Charity and 
Benevolence, promoting cooperation and goodwill, pointing the way 
to happiness through the path of Service. 

The original meeting place was in the Elwers Building on Wisconsin 
Avenue. In 1921, the property on the corner of Church Street and 
Doty Avenue was purchased and remodeled, for a Lodge Hall and 
Club rooms. Many memorable events, such as dances and parties, 
were enjoyed here, for a number of years, for the benefit of both local 
and national charities. During the depression of 1933, this property 
was lost. Since then the meeting place has been in the Jfews-Tfecord 
Building on Wisconsin Avenue. 

Names on the Charter are: George A. Davis — Frank R. Leavens — 

F. R. Davis — L. W. Giffin — C. H. Bergstrom — E. E. Jandrey — 
W. H. Wheeler — A. D. Eldridge — George L. Madson — J. H. Healy — 

G. M. Gillingham — M. E. Barnett — H. A. Stone — S. A. Cook — 
E. J. I.achmann — W. M. Gilbert- — -M. W. Fernegen — Thomas Higgins 
— Merritt Campbell. 

1957 officers are: Carl M. Anderson, Chancellor Commander; 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 269 

C. P. Lemberg, Vice Chancellor; Neil W. Larson, Prelate; Otto 
Steffenhagen, Master of Work; Fred Ehlert, Master at Arms; Harry 
Bishop, Secretary; Harvey Larson, Treasurer; A. J. Schmutz, Inner 
Guard; Ove Moller, Outer Guard; Trustees, Theodore Larson, 
Otto Steffenhagen, and John S. Tolversen. 



Jfadies of the (fraud zArmy of the Republic 

The C. B. Clark Circle, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
was organized in May, 1912, by Mrs. Ethel Irish, who was then the 
national president of the organization. There were thirty charter 
members, only five of whom are living today; viz, Mrs. Orrie Coates, 
of Appleton, Mrs. Stella Larson, of Eustis, Florida, Miss Theo 
McCallum, Miss Lena Miller and Mrs. C. H. Pope, of Neenah. The 
first president was Mrs. Robert Law; secretary, Mrs. Eva Armstrong; 
treasurer, Mrs. John LeTourneux. 

The purpose of the organization was to assist the Grand Army of 
the Republic in its work and to give aid to any Civil War Veterans 
or their dependent ones in time of need. Eligibility is limited to female 
blood kin relatives of soldiers, sailors and marines who served honor- 
ably in the Civil War, 1861-1865. 

The organization also aims to teach patriotism and lessons of good 
citizenship to the youth of our land, and to preserve the memory of 
our national heroes. The C. B. Clark Circle presents flags to schools 
and youth organizations in Neenah. 

The C. B. Clark Circle had the honor of giving to the national or- 
ganization its 1955-56 president, Miss Theo McCallum. 

1957 officers of the C. B. Clark Circle are: 

President- -Mrs. M. L. Brandsmark 
Vice President — Miss Theo McCallum 
Secretary -Mrs. Ernest Rhoades 
Treasurer — Mrs. Ella Walter 

Submitted by Mrs. M. L. Brandsmark 



2 7 0 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



jQeague of Women Voters of Jfeenah-Menas ha 

The League of Women Voters was first organized locally in 1920 by 
Mrs. W. Z. Stuart and Mrs. Lyle Pinkerton. Women were entitled to 
vote for the first time in the presidential election in November, 1920, 
and the members of this first League gave out literature on voting 
procedure, urged women to vote, and transported them to the polls. 
The League then went out of existence because of a lack of interest. 

In 1947, a group of women headed by Mrs. Donald W. Davis 
applied to the state and national League of Women Voters to become 
a local League. For two years, they operated as a provisional League 
because of the national ruling that each league should represent only 
one unit of government, and the local group wanted to be a Twin 
City unit. Finally, the ruling was modified and the group became the 
first League representing more than one unit of government. The first 
officers were: 

President — Mrs. Donald W. Davis Secretary — Miss Margaret Griffiths 

1st Vice President — Mrs. E. O. Woerner Treasurer— Mrs. Lydia Curtin 
2nd Vice President — Mrs. Melvin Crowley 

The membership in 1956 numbers 147 women, and the officers are: 

President — Mrs. Donald C. Shepard Secretary — Mrs. Gavin W. Young 

1 st Vice President — Mrs. L. W. Zabel Treasurer — Mrs. E. O. Woerner 

2nd Vice President — Mrs. Everton Cass 

The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote political 
responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in 
government. 

By Mrs. Karl Forsgren 

(See p. 29] for write-up of Neenah Lions Club) 



Elisha Kent Kjine -C pdg e of F ree an ^ Accepted Masons 

Elisha Kent Kane Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was 
organized in Menasha, as Menasha Lodge No. 61, and dispensation 
was granted by the Grand Lodge February 16, 1 855. The first meeting 
was held on March 1 of that year, and the first master was Joseph 
Keys. The charter was granted by the Grand Lodge in June, 1855. 




FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS T]l 

For the first few months meetings were held in Menasha, but since 
October, 1855, they have been held in Neenah. 

In 1857 a petition was sent to the Grand Lodge to change the name 
from Menasha Lodge to Union Lodge No. 61, but Grand Lodge first 
changed the name to Tyrean Lodge, and then resolved to change it 
to Kane Lodge. In March, 1923, the Lodge was formally changed to 
Elisha Kent Kane Lodge No. 61, the name it retains today. Elisha 
Kent Kane was an astronomer, chemist, surgeon, explorer and a 
Mason. He was appointed a surgeon in the U. S. Navy, and served 
at that post in the Grinnell Arctic exploration. In 1853 he commanded 
an expedition to search for Sir John Franklin and his companion, who 
were lost in the Arctic. The expedition was unsuccessful, and Kane 
returned after two years of hardship and suffering, broken in health, 
and he died in 1857. 

The new Masonic Temple, an imposing building located at 241 
East Wisconsin Avenue, was constructed in 1925-26, and was dedi- 
cated in 1926. Indebtedness of the new Temple was paid off on July 
21, 1946. 

(As printed in the August /<?, i 948 , centennial edition of the Twin City News-Record) 



Masonic Temple 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



1958 officers are: 

Worshipful Master Harold Wilkes 
Senior Warden Fred Breitenbach 
Junior Warden Guy Arentsen 
Treasurer Francis Lund, Sr. 

Secretary- Harry M. Bishop 
Senior Deacon -Verne Wilson 
Junior Deacon — Charles Littlefield 
Steward — -Stanley Hoyman 
Steward — Frank H. Penney 
Tiler — Wm. D. Mathewson 

Trustees: Clarence F. Martin, Clifford H. Farley, Clyde R. Buxton 



l T^eenah Chapter §88 k l{pyal Arch Masons 

Under the leadership of Dr. George H. Williamson, Neenah Chapter 
#88 Royal Arch Masons was organized during January 1914. The 
three principal officers of the Chapter were Dr. George H. Williamson, 
as Excellent High Priest, Mr. A. W. Kellogg as King, and Mr. Charles 
Schultz as Scribe. In forming this new Chapter much work was done 
by Mr. C. S. Kimball, the first Secretary of the New Chapter. 
Present officers are: 

Excellent High Priest —Clyde R. Buxton 
King — Wm. B. Dresser 
Scribe — Frederick Will arson. 

Submitted by Howard N. Nelson. 



Twin (pities (pommandery dpo. 39 KjiigJits Templar 

In 1915 thirty Knights Templar residing in the cities of Neenah and 
Menasha signed an application to the Grand Commandery of Knights 
Templar of the State of Wisconsin to form and open a Commandery 
of Knights Templar in the City of Menasha. "The Dispensation was 
issued by the Grand Commandery February 14, 1916 and the first 
conclave of the new Commandery which was to be known as Twin 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



Cities Commandery No. 39, Knights Templar, was held in the Ma- 
sonic Temple in Menasha. The following officers were selected: 

Eminent Commander — Joseph Hill 
Generalissimo — Charles B. Clark 
Capt. General — E. H. Schultz 
Recorder — Frank O. Heckrodt 

October 18, 1916 the officers of the Grand Commandery of the 
State of Wisconsin convened at the Masonic Temple in Menasha and 
presented to Twin Cities Commandery their Charter and the Number 
“39.” Election of officers was held resulting in the election of the 
above named Sir Knights, together with other officers, and the Grand 
Commander proceeded to install them. 

The growth of this new Commandery was rapid and the roster of 
membership holds the names of many of our leading citizens 

In 1926 the new Masonic Temple was built in the city of Neenah. 
Some of the Sir Knights wished to move to this new and beautiful 
building but there was opposition to this move. On May 7, 1929 it 




Members of Masonic Lodge over 70 years of age — photo made in 1950. (Left to right) First row: Roy 
Babcock, Charles Pope, Dr. George Williamson, Richard Acheson, Owen Jones, Emil Schultz, Harley 
Hilton, Frank Otis. Second row: Emil Aderhold, Frank Klinke, Rev. Wm. Harms, Mads Hansen, Bill 
Krueger, Olaf Myhre, Earl Sharpless, Art Arnemann. Third row: John Roberts, Hugo Krueger, Bill 
Mathewson, George Pvott, Sr., Bill Neubauer, Gus Toepel, Bob Martens, Ernest Pettingill. Not in the 
picture: George L. Madson, a member for 65 years. 



274 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



was decided that the move to Neenah should be made. Since that day 
the home of Twin Cities Commandery No. 39 Knights Templar has 
been in the Neenah Masonic Temple. 

For the year of 1957-58 the following are officers: 

Commander — Wm. G. Mueller 
Generalissimo — Carroll Rogers 
Capt. General — Dewey VanBuskirk 
Senior Warden — Charles Greiner 
Junior Warden — William Dresser 
Prelate — Joe Beisenstein 
Treasurer — Oscar C. Johnson 
Recorder — Carl H. Buehner 
Standard Bearer — Albert Johnson 
Sword Bearer — Aaron Dix 
Warder — Clarence Smith 
Sentinel — Thos. Calder 

One of the Past Commanders has been honored by being elected 
to office in the Grand Commandery. He is Walter H. Bisping and is 
at present the Deputy Grand Commander. 

Four Past Commanders received the coveted honorary degree of 
“Knight of the York Cross of Honour.” They are: 

Clarence Arnemann 
Oscar Peterson 
Walter Bisping 
Carl H. Buehner 



Submitted by Carl H. Buehner 



Order of the £ astern Star , 1894-1956 

The Order of the Eastern Star was originated in the year 1850 by 
Robert Morris, a Master Mason of New York City, New York, 
affectionately called by his friends and admirers, “The Poet Laureate” 
of Freemasonry. 

He was a devout man and an ardent student of the Bible. He loved 
to use his vivid, poetical imagination to reconstruct the lives and 
surroundings of Biblical characters, such as Adah, Ruth, Esther, 
Martha and Electa, around whom the five degrees of the Order of the 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 275 

Eastern Star was built. Robert Morris brought them out of the dim 
and remote recesses of the past and animated them with life and 
reality into characters whose qualities have made the “Order of the 
Eastern Star” ritualistic work so impressive. 

With the help of Mrs. Morris and Robert McCoy, a Master Mason 
of some literary ability, Robert Morris’ original manuscript was put 
into book form and from this the ritualistic work of the Order of the 
Eastern Star was compiled. 

From the beginning the Order of the Eastern Star flourished and 
many chapters came into existence, Neenah being one of the early 
chapters. 

On November 1 6, 1876 at a convention of representatives held in 
Indianapolis, Indiana, a General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern 
Star was organized. 

On May 19, 1893 a dispensation was granted to the charter members 
of Neenah, Wisconsin and on February 21, 1894 the charter was 
drawn — Neenah being Chapter Number 53 in the state of Wisconsin. 
This charter included wives, daughters, sisters, mothers and widows 
of Master Masons of both Neenah and Menasha. Later Menasha was 
granted its own chapter. The signers of the original charter of this 
great fraternal organization in the city of Neenah were: Haskell E. 
Coats, Elizabeth Coats, Abbie Herrick, Arthur Kellogg, Belle 
Kellogg, Thomas Jacobs, Lottie Jacobs, John Herrick, Dora Herrick, 
Moses Billstein, Clara Billstein, Mathilda Krueger, Louise Krueger, 
Edmund Lachmann, Dora Lachmann, Joseph Price, Kate Price, 
Gertrude Price, George Parker, Frank Russel, Edeatta Russel, Ida 
Gilson, Fred Peck, and Nellie Peck, all deceased. The first Worthy 
Matron of the Chapter was Mrs. Lottie Jacobs and the first Worthy 
Patron, E. J. Lachmann. 

E'or many years, Neenah Chapter #53, Order of the Eastern Star 
held its meetings on the upper floor of the Sherry Building at 145 W. 
Wisconsin Avenue, serving the Twin Cities. In 1920 the Chapter 
moved to the Equitable Reserve Association building on Commercial 
Street. On June 19, 1926 the present Masonic Temple was dedicated 
and from then until now' the Neenah Order of the Eastern Star #53 
has held its meetings there. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



276 



Thus the Neenah Order of the Eastern Star has had a place in the 
beautiful city of Neenah for 65 years. 

1958 officers are: 



Worthy Matron — Joann Miller 
Worthy Patron — Carroll Rogers 
Associate Matron— Adeline Rogers 
Associate Patron Philip Schanke 
Secretary — Elsie Kleinhenz 
Treasurer — Elsie Schultz 
Conductress — Carol Dresser 
Associate Conductress-Martha Schanke 
Adah — Delores Gray 



Ruth -Viola Doane 
Esther — Helen Brandherm 
Martha Ruth Johnson 
Electa — Claudia Whaley 
Chaplain Helen Martin 
Marshall — Amanda Robinson 
Organist — Estelle Buehner 
W arder — Josephine Breitenbach 
Sentinel- Harry Bishop 



Submitted by Hazel Burnside Pace 



Social Order of the c Beauceant 

The Social Order of the Beauceant is an organization of the wives 
and widows of Knights Templar. Its purpose is to promote sociability, 
perform benevolent work, extend sympathy and assistance to mem- 
bers, and to aid the Knights Templar when requested. Neenah 
Assembly #184, S.O.O.B., was constituted on December 11, 1953, 
with 36 wives and widows of Knights Templar of Neenah and 
Menasha as charter members. 

First officers were: President — Mrs. Walter Bisping; Oracle — 
Mrs. James Heuer; First Vice President — Mrs. William Mueller. 

1957 officers are: President — Mrs. Carroll Rogers; Oracle— Mrs. 
George Littlefield; First Vice President — Mrs. Edward Spoerk. 

Submitted by Mrs. Charles Greiner 
Menasha (far den (flub 

In February, 1927, the Civic Department of the Economics Club, 
under the chairmanship of Mrs. H. E. Bullard, sponsored an informal 
garden club. This group, composed of residents of Menasha and 
Neenah, held meetings for study and discussion, and in February, 
1930, the Menasha Garden Club was formally organized. 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



277 



Mrs. Ida Watkins was president, and Mrs. H. E. Bullard, secretary. 
The objective of the club is to stimulate an interest in gardening 
anti development of home grounds, and to aid in the protection of 
forests, wild flowers and birds and to promote civic beautification. 

Officers for 1956: President, Miss Lorraine CL Dennhardt; Vice 
President, Mrs. Harold Young; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. Charles 
Bailar. 

Officers for 1957: President, Mrs. Harold Young; Vice President, 
Miss Jessie E. Dennhardt; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. Matthew 
Auer. 

Submitted by Miss Barbara Thom 



Neenah £lub 

The Neenah Club was organized on May 12, 1909. Articles of incor- 
poration were signed by F. E. Ballister, C. B. Clark and F. A. Leavens. 

“The purpose and object of the corporation shall be to maintain a 
club for the purpose of affording a place of meeting and social enjoy- 
ment for the members thereof; also for the purpose of acquiring, 
owning, holding and leasing real estate or such other property as may 
be desirable in order to carry into effect the purposes of this associa- 
tion.” 

First officers: 1909-1910 — C. B. Clark, President; E. J. Lachmann, 
Vice President; S. F. Durga, Secretary. 

Present officers: Paul N. Dawson, President; Irwin Pearson, Vice 
President; Harry Korotev, Secretary-Treasurer. 



Oddfellowyhip 

The Odd Fellow Lodge was organized in Neenah on December 12, 
1849. Designated as Lodge No. 41, the organization, after several 
years of life, gave up its charter in the fall of 1859. Officers at time of 
dissolution were: Gorham P. Vining, N. G., M. D. McGrath, V. G.; 
Win. Taggert, Secretary; E. G. Pussley, Treasurer. 

In February, 1870, the Lodge was reinstated under the following 



A II I S T ORY O F N E E N A H 



278 

officers: W. G. Ritch, N. G.; O. S. Millard, V. G.; I. W. Hunt, 
Rec. Secretary; L. C. Sessions, Financial Secretary; H. P. Leavens, 
'Treasurer. 

The division known as the Daughters of Rebekah was organized 
December 5, 1873, under the title of Cherisa Lodge No. 31. Menasha 
Lodge No. 187, I.O.O.F. was granted a charter on January 19, 1871, 
by the then Grand Master, Sam Ryan of Appleton. In 1922 lodges 
No. 41 and No. 336 consolidated with lodge No. 336. 

Betty Rebekah Lodge No. 212 was granted a charter by Grand 
Master Penhallegon on June 8, 1910. Charter members were: T. J. 
Gould, E. T. Phillips, Chas. Gasey, Chas. Gear, Harry Bishop, Bessie 
Gear, Myrtle Gear, Laura Gould, Anna Walker, Nell Helvey and 
Katherine Gear. 

Submitted by JVm. D. Mathewson 



Oddjellowshi'p — ’Betty Bebekah Xjttdge # 212 

Betty Rebekah Lodge No. 212 of Menasha, Wisconsin, was insti- 
tuted on August 14, 1909 at the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. 
Transferred from Cherisa Rebekah Lodge #31 of Neenah, were 
Katherine Gear, Laura K. Gould, Bessie Gear, Chas. Gear, 1'. J. Gould, 
Anna Walker and Nell Helvey. 

'The first officers were: Noble Grand, Katherine Gear; Vice Grand, 
Laura Gould; Secretary, Nell Helvey; Treasurer, Bessie Gear; 
Deputy, Katherine Gear. 

The objects and purposes of Rebekah lodges are declared to be: 

To visit and care for the sick; to relieve the distressed; to bury the 
dead, and in every way to assist their own members, and to assist 
subordinate and sister Rebekah lodges in kindly ministrations to the 
families of Odd Fellows when in trouble, sickness, or want. 

To aid in the establishment and maintenance of homes for aged and 
indigent Odd Fellows and their wives, and for the widows of deceased 
Odd Fellows; and homes for the care, education, and support of 
orphans of deceased Odd Fellows and of deceased sisters of the Re- 
bekah Degree. 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 279 

To cultivate and extend the social and fraternal relations of life 
among lodges and the families of Odd Fellows. 

Officers are (1956): Noble Grand, Mrs. John Mollon; Vice Grand, 
Miss Mabel Wilcox; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Victor Fritz; Financial 
Secretary, Mrs. Lawrence Terrio; Treasurer, Mrs. Violet Kyle; and 
District Deputy, Mrs. Gerald Kiefer. 

Submitted by Mrs. Gerald Kiefer 






Optimist (flub of Jfeenah-Menasha 

The club was chartered by International on November 16, 1954, with 
thirty-five local Twin City members: 



Gordon Blank 


Norbert Kozlowski 


Carl E. Boettcher 


John Kuebler 


Dr. Ralph Bonfiglio 


LeRoy E. Kuehn 


Robert E. Bonini 


Dr. James LaLiberte 


Robert L. Brockman 


William D. Lieber 


William L. Copps 


Roy Misky 


Palmer ]. Cumings 


Harold L. Nelson 


S. R. Davis 


Robert A. Putman 


Robert C. Di Renzo 


Wayne Skidmore 


Robert Downie 


Earl Smith, Jr. 


Harold Faverty 


Donald F. Staffeld 


Vern Duerrwachter 


Philip W. Stone 


Roy den D. Ginnow 


Paul M. Stordock 


Frank Gmeiner 


Maxwell A. Tungate 


E. Munroe Hjerstedt 


Edwin R. Woldt 


Raymond V. Hudson 


Richard C. Wolter 


Eugene B. Jessup 
Donald W. Kleinschmidt 


Robert M. Wright 


The first elected officers were: 




President — Earl Smith, Jr. 

Vice President Robert Di Renzo 




Vice President — Philip Stone 
Secretary-Treasurer— E. B. Jessup 
Directors — Earl Smith, Jr. 


Dr. Ralph Bonfiglio 


Robert Di Renzo 


Philip Stone 


E. B. Jessup 


Harold Faverty 


Maxwell Tungate 


Royden Ginnow 



28 o 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Present officers are: 



President — William Dowling, Jr. 

First Vice President- John Kuebler 
Second Vice President- John Galloway 
Secretary-Treasurer — Merton Shaw 
Directors — William Dowling, Jr. 

John Kuebler 
John Galloway 
Merton Shaw 



Edwin Woldt 
William Copps 
John Sensenbrenner, Jr. 
Donald Buchta 
Gavin Young 



Purpose of the club is to carry out the principles of Optimist 
International, or a “Friend of the Boy.” The club’s first major project 
was to sponsor a Pram Sailing Fleet, supported by local business and 
individuals, for the promotion of small craft sailing for children of 
Neenah and Menasha. 



Submitted by Merton C. Shaw 



! Rotary £lub 

The Neenah Rotary Club received its charter April 29, 1925, with 
23 charter members. Dr. T. D. Smith was the first president, and 
Howard P. Buck the first secretary. 

The activities of the Neenah Rotary Club are channeled into four 
avenues of service: club service, vocational service, community serv- 
ice and international service. 

An example of community service is found in the honor student 
program in the high school, where a boy and a girl in each of the four 
classes are selected every nine weeks to be the guests of the Club. 
They are selected by a high school faculty committee on the basis of 
a “Code of Ethics for High School Students.” The original Code of 
Ethics was written by Neale Spoor in 1927 and revised and rewritten 
in 1935 by Charles Velte. 

As an example of international service, each year the junior or 
senior class in high school study an important current international 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 



28l 



question or problem and write essays on the subject. Three winners 
are selected to read their essays at a Club meeting during the latter 
part of the school year. 

The Club supports the Boy Scout movement in various ways, and 
helps to send boys as delegates or representatives to various state or 
district meetings, such as Boys’ State and to Rotary conferences. 
Members of the Club are actively engaged in many of the city’s com- 
munity projects. Support is given to crippled children’s work. A stu- 
dent loan fund was established in the early years of the Club to assist 
worthy students who need financial assistance in their college work. 
The Club has also for a number of years sponsored a series of pro- 
grams, bringing to the Twin Cities and Appleton outstanding per- 
formers in the entertainment field. 

In 1952 the Club produced a traffic safety film entitled, “Safety is 
No Accident.” Members of the Club wrote the script and played the 
parts. 

Individual Rotarians are active members and officers in such organ- 
izations as the Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Board of Edu- 
cation, Park Board, and other local boards and commissions. 

The Club participated in setting up the Paul Harris Foundation to 
send college students to foreign countries for a post-graduate study 
course, enabling them to bring a better understanding of their home 
country to the people of the country in which they are studying, and 
in understanding the countries to which they are sent. This is supple- 
mented by correspondence between the local Club and Rotary Clubs 
in foreign lands and their members. 

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service 
as a basis of worthy enterprise, and, in particular, to encourage and 
foster: 

1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. 

2. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the 
worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of 
his occupation as an opportunity to serve society. 

3. The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal, busi- 
ness and community life. 

4. The advancement of international understanding, good will and peace through 



282 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



a world fellowship of business and professional men united in the ideal of 
service. 

1 957 — 58 officers are: Dr. G. W. Petersen, President; Dr. J. L. Dono- 
van, Vice President; Jack Casper, Secretary; H. C. Hilton, Treasurer. 



T(oyal Neighbors of cAmerica , Doty C am P-> ^K°- 6. '34 1 

Doty Camp No. 6341, Royal Neighbors of America, was organized by 
Josephine Pulger and District Deputy Ella Bliss, assisted by State 
Supervising Deputy Louise M. Parks, May 25, 1910, with 33 charter 
members. At present there are 144 adult benefit members, 44 juvenile 
members and 10 social members. 

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month in Eagles 
Hall. 

We observe Memorial Day, Mothers Day and the third Saturday 
in June — Juvenile Day, and a picnic for Royal Neighbors. 

1956 officers are: 



Oracle — Sarah Haufe 

Vice Oracle — Della Cloutier 

Past Oracle — Meta Larson 

Chancellor — Amelia Grupe 

Recorder — Ruth Drews 

Receiver — -Sylvia Kampo 

Marshal— Hilda Koepke 

Assistant Marshal — Minnie Hanselman 

Inner Sentinel — Florence Purdy 

Outer Sentinel — Martha Eberlein 

Submitted by Mrs. Walter Haufe 



Managers — Mathilda RohlofF, Margie 
Hawkinson, Alma Anderson 
Musician — Edith Seymour 
Flag Bearer — Georgian a Miller 
Captain of Degree Staff — Helen Collins 
Faith — Emma Danielsen 
Courage — Louise Par men 
Modesty — Margaret Haas 
Endurance -Mathilda Johnson 
Unselfishness- Dorothy Neubauer 



Sarah Doty Study (flub 

In the summer and early fall of 1938 a group of five or six young 
housewives agreed that their minds needed stimulating, their memo- 
ries refreshed, and their time concerned with more cultural and in- 
formative subjects than bridge. After some discussion and experi- 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 283 

mentation, they formed a “study” club, with emphasis on the word 
“study.” They were to present their own papers on a subject chosen 
by the group for the year’s work, with an occasional speaker relating 
to the subject. 

The subject chosen that first year, 1938, was the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury English Novel, directed through the extension division of the 
University of Wisconsin and the University Library. Twice during 
the year a lecturer was sent from the University, and a most stimu- 
lating program was conducted on the work of Thackeray, Dickens, 
Meredith, James, Austen, Scott, Eliot and many, many others. Dis- 
cussions were lively, since all members participated in this study. 

Mrs. Howard Canfield served as the club’s first president, with 
Mrs. Richard Bell as the first program chairman. Sarah Doty Study 
Club was chosen as the name most appealing to all members. Later 
in the year an original letter from Sarah Doty to one of her friends 
was sent to the club by Bella Fox, of Kaukauna, Wisconsin. It was 
unanimously voted to present this letter to the Doty Cabin when this 
historical site was being renovated. 

Meetings were held the first and third W ednesday afternoons of the 
month at the Neenah Library. There were seventeen charter mem- 
bers : 

Mrs. Russell Anderson 
Mrs. Richard Bell 
Mrs. S. W. By low 
Mrs. Howard Canfield 
Mrs. Charles Campbell 
Mrs. George Hastings 
Mrs. Herbert (ewell 
Mrs. R. F. Lotz 
Mrs. W. Marthes 

Over the years the course of study has been planned by a diligent 
program committee. Often the committee has had the invaluable help 
of the University Extension and Library service; occasionally, as in 
the case of music appreciation, the supervision of an instructor; and 
always the interest and service of the Neenah Public Library. At pres- 
ent one of the Lawrence College Professors is assisting with the pro- 
gram on Shakespeare. 



Mrs. Marvin Olson 
Mrs. Ward Sullivan 
Mrs. George Tarter 
Mrs. Forrest Werling 
Mrs. V. E. Zeuthen 
Mrs. Fred Robinson 
Mrs. I.yal Williams 
Mrs. Harold Kriekard 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



284 

Today the membership is limited to 25, with meetings held the first 
Monday evening of the month in the members’ homes. A program for 
guests is presented each year in the form of a concert, play review, or 
lecturer speaking on a subject related to the year’s study. The fall 
season opens with a dinner meeting at Riverview Country Club. 

The opera, the symphony, contemporary American novelists, cur- 
rent plays, American diplomacy and U. S. foreign policy, anthro- 
pology, contemporary art and Renaissance art are some of the topics 
that have held Sarah Doty Study Club members’ interest for one- and 
often two-year periods. 

Submitted by Mrs. Charles Zemlock 



United Qhurch Women 

This organization started informally as a non-denominational group 
of church women meeting to observe World Day of Prayer. In 1945 it 
was organized officially as the Council of Church Women, on a local 
basis. First officers were: Mrs. J. D. Schmerein, President; Mrs. I. E. 
Ozanne, Vice President, and Mrs. Carl Peterson, Secretary and Treas- 
urer. Mrs. M. L. Brandsmark, Mrs. S. N. Pickard and Mrs. E. M. 
Beeman were appointed to draw up the constitution. 

In 1947 the group affiliated with the national Council of Church 
Women, and in 1951, changed its name to United Church Women. 

“The purpose shall be to unite church women in their allegiance to 
their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through a program looking to their 
integration in the total life and work of the church.” 

In addition to annual observance of World Day of Prayer, which is 
held the first Eriday in Lent, the group also participates in World 
Community Day services, May Eellowship Day, and has an annual 
meeting, which for the last few years has been held at Green Lake, 
Wisconsin, on the grounds of the American Baptist Assembly. Special 
projects have included gilts of money to migrant workers and to the 
American Leprosy Mission, and aid to foreign students. 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 285 



Membership in the United Church Women is open to all church 
women of any denomination. 



Mrs. J. D. Schmerein 
Mrs. M. L. Brandsmark 
Mrs. S. N. Pickard 
Mrs. N. C. Jersild 



Presidents 

1945-46 Mrs. Hugo Erdmann 

1947 Mrs. Verne Wilson 

1948-49 Mrs. Thomas Catlin 

1950 



Submitted by Mrs. Hugo Erdmann 



1951-52-53 

1 954-55 
1956-57 



Veterans of Foreign Wars , H ubbard-F eterson Tost JQQO 

The first meeting was held at the club rooms at 116 Main St., on 
October io, 1948. Acting Commander Lawrence Koehne called the 
meeting to order. First officers of the post, elected at this meeting, 
were: 

Com m a n de r — La w re n ce Koe h n e 

Sr. Vice Commander — R. Dudley Young 

Jr. Vice Commander — John Nickash 

Chaplain -Adolph Blair 

Post Advocate — Emil Blank, Jr. 

Trustees: Francis Cane — 18 mos. 

Hugh Strange — 12 mos. 

Bernard Freim — 6 mos. 



Commander Koehne appointed the following members to office: 

Albert J. Muench, Post Adjutant 

Minot Rosselle, Officer of the Day 

Urban H. Heberty, Guard 

Walter Foelker, Post Historian 

Alton Schnetzer and Earl Cole, Color Bearers 

Donald Nielson, Quartermaster Sergeant 

Larry Tessen, Sergeant Major 



Post Commanders since year of organization: 



1948 — Lawrence Koehne 

1949 — Emil Blank, Jr. 

19 5° — Harvey Koerwitz 

1951 — John Nickash 

1952 — Emil Blank, Jr. 



1953 — Warren Krueger 
1954 -Warren Krueger 

1955 — Alvin Grambsch 

19 56 — Alvin Grambsch 



286 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



I'lie purpose of the organization is to work for loyalty to the com- 
munity for the betterment of its citizens, and to the U. S. Govern- 
ment, with particular emphasis on community service. 

Submitted by Alvin Grambsch 



V.F.W. "Auxiliary of Hubbard-Peterson Post 

V.F.YV. Auxiliary was organized in October, 1949, by Katherine 
Blank, of Neenah, then sixth district President of the V.F.W. Auxil- 
iary. At that time Neenah citizens had been charter members of the 
Menasha Auxiliary, but when an Auxiliary was organized in Neenah, 
they transferred their membership. 

Objects are fraternal, patriotic, historical and educational; to assist 
the Post and its members whenever possible, to maintain true alle- 
giance to the government of the United States of America and fidelity 
to its Constitution and laws; to promote true patriotism; to maintain 
and extend the institutions of American freedom and equal rights and 
justice to all men and women, and to preserve and defend the United 
States of America from all its enemies. 

We contribute to all local drives; have given gifts and money to 
Theda Clark Hospital, the Neenah Fire Department for the ambu- 
lance, to the VNA, assist disabled veterans and their families when 
they are in need, send out Christmas baskets to needy members, also 
any other family in the city needing a little Christmas cheer, work on 
the Christmas giving committee of the Community Council and help 
any family or person in the city in time of need, aid all veteran hospi- 
tals in Wisconsin, support an orphan in Korea and Europe and con- 
tribute to V.F.W. National Home at Eaton Rapids, Michigan, for 
widows and orphans of deceased veterans — the only such home in the 
U. S., also present flags to Girl and Boy Scout groups, Boys’ Brigade 
and schools. “Service to others” is our aim. 

1956 officers are: President, Mrs. Maryie Hawkinson; Sr. Vice 
President, Mrs. Barbara Timm; Jr. Vice President, Mrs. Alvina 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 287 

Hartzheim; Chaplain, Mrs. Laura Grambsch; Secretary, Mrs. Lillian 
Campbell; Treasurer, Mrs. Katherine Blank; Conductress, Mrs. Lil- 
lian Olson; Guard, Mrs. Ramona Steichen; Patriotic Instructor, Mrs. 
Doris Krueger. 

Submil ted by Lillian Olson 



Who' s New Qlub 

Who’s New Club was organized at least twenty-five years ago by 
Mrs. Mary Buck. Meetings at that time were held at The Young 
Women’s Club, East Doty Avenue. This club has, and is, serving a 
fine purpose in this community, in that it introduces new people and 
creates a spirit of friendliness and sociability. 

The service program is to provide a vacation for crippled children 
at Camp Wawbeek, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. 

1957 Officers: President, Mrs. Robert Tuttrup 

Vice President, Mrs. Thomas Madden 
Secretary, Mrs. Robert Yakes 
Treasurer, Mrs. Carl Walter 

Submitted by Mrs. Robert Tuttrup 



Women s Christian Union 

The Neenah Chapter of the Women’s Christian Union, auxiliary ot 
the state W.C.T.U. was organized in 1885. Mrs. Hattie E. Wood was 
President. Other members were: Mrs. S. B. Morgan, Mrs. E. M. 
Wilson, Miss Nellie Mitchell, Mrs. F. F. Kellogg, Mrs. Lottie Jacob, 
Mrs. M. [. DeLong, Mrs. Lewis. 

Purpose: The W.C.T.U. is an organization of Christian women 
united for the protection of the home; for the prohibition of liquor 
traffic; to promote good citizenship, peace and the general welfare. 
The local chapter meets once a month at homes of members. 



288 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Officers elected August, 1956, are as follows: 

Mrs. I. E. Ozanne, President 
Mrs. Belle Williams, Vice President 
Mrs. Ida Irving, Secy. 

Mrs. Myrtle Coy, Corresponding Secy. 

Mrs. J. D. Schmerein, Treas. 

Named as Vice Presidents, representing churches, are: Miss Olla 
Perry, Presbyterian; Mrs. Daisy Driscoll, Whiting Memorial Baptist; 
Mrs. Forrest Wilms, Methodist; Mrs. Dan Howman, First Evangeli- 
cal United Brethren. 

Submitted by Mrs. Margarita B. Ozanne 



Women s Tuesday Qlub of Neenah 

The Women’s Tuesday Club of Neenah dates back to October, 1886, 
when a group of Neenah women began a reading and study club for 
mutual benefit and pleasure. This was known as “A Chautauqua Lit- 
erary and Scientific Circle” with 27 members, and held weekly meet- 
ings from October until June. A Chautauqua course of study was pur- 
sued under the efficient leadership of Mrs. J. B. Lummis, of Appleton. 

The first President was Mrs. George Harlow, who served two years, 
followed by Mrs. John Proctor, who held this office for five years. 
Miss Jennie Cook was the first Secretary, who served six years. 

In 1896, by vote of members, the name was changed to ‘‘The Wom- 
en’s Tuesday Club of Neenah,” a name which it has always kept, as 
all of its previous meetings had been held on Tuesday afternoons. In 
1901 the membership was limited to forty members. 

During these years American, English, French, literature, art, 
music and history and many other studies were enjoyed through the 
leadership of fine speakers, and the papers prepared and discussed by 
club members. Critics were appointed for the meetings. Current events 
were always a feature of the meetings. 

Meetings had been held in the homes of members, but in 1904 a 
basement room on the west side of the new Public Library Building 
had been set aside by the Library Board for the exclusive use of “The 



F R ATERNAL ANI) SOCIAL O R G A N I Z A T IONS 289 

Women’s Tuesday Club.” On March 22, 1904, the first meeting was 
held in the new club room, and each member felt a glow of pride and 
satisfaction as they assembled. The Tuesday Club turned the room 
back to the Library Board to be used by other literary clubs, reserv- 
ing Tuesday for the Women’s Tuesday Club. 

With larger and comfortable club rooms, the Club increaseci its 
membership from time to time. It has been a study club through the 
years. Its motto has always been, “Study to be what you wish to 
seem.” 

It would be most difficult to give even a fair estimate of the many 
prominent speakers secured and the lectures presented through all 
the years of the club’s growth. The intellectual and social side has 
had great influence in this community. 

In accepting the offer of the use of the dub room from the Library 
Board, the resolutions had stated that the Tuesday Club could have 
the use of the room “until such time as said Board might otherwise 
decide.” In 1955 it became necessary that the room be used for library 
work, because of the crowded space in the Library. It was then neces- 
sary to find another place for club meetings. After thorough inquiry 
by a committee, it was decided to gather at the Whiting Memorial 
Boat House, and the first meeting was held November 1, 195 5, in this 
building. In November, 1957, the Tuesday Club transferred its meet- 
ings from the Boat House to the new Boys’ Brigade Building. 

At the present time there are 125 active members and four honor- 
ary members. 1957 officers are: 

President — Mrs. W. A. Daniel 
First Vice President — Mrs. W. B. Hildebrand 
Second Vice President — Mrs. Fred Smith 
Recording Secretary — Mrs. Lyall Williams 
Corresponding Secretary- — Mrs. Leon Tolverson 
Treasurer -Mrs. Edwin A. Kalfahs 

The Tuesday Club, now in existence over seventy years, has carried 
on one of its original objects: “To further all measures for the better- 
ment of the community.” 

Submitted by Mrs. Arthur Ritger 



29 O A HISTORY OF N E 15 N A II 

Y. T. and F. Qlub — iMeenah and Menasha 

In October 1889 eleven women met at the home of Mrs. S. K. Hay- 
ward for the purpose of organizing a Chautauqua I .allies’ Study Circle. 
The Chautauqua Pocket Manual was used as their guide, and pro- 
grams were, in part, those suggested by the monthly numbers of the 
Chautauqua magazine. First year officers were: President, Mrs. W. P. 
Hewitt; Vice President, Mrs. D. B. Lewis; Secretary and Treasurer, 
Mrs. S. B. Morgan. 

In 1894 the Chautauqua program was discontinued, and the Club 
name changed to Y. T. and F., Yesterday, Today and Forever. In 
1895 the Club affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s 
Clubs. 

Club membership is limited to twenty-four, and meetings are held 
in members’ homes. Books of general interest are reviewed, panel dis- 
cussions held and new plays read. 

Officers for 1956-57 are: President, Mrs. Harvey Leaman; First 
Vice President, Mrs. Robert DeLong; Second Vice President, Mrs. 
Marvin King; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. Wayne Long. 

Submitted by Mrs. Ernest Rhoades 



Zonta Qlub 

The Neenah-Menasha Zonta Club, a classified service club for execu- 
tive women, was organized in November, 1949, with fifteen charter 
members, by F.tta Preston, of Evanston, Illinois, then international 
chairman of Zonta Organization. 

First officers of the club were: Miss Cora Heckrodt, President; Miss 
Helen Brockway, Vice President; Miss Ruth Geiss, Secretary, and 
Miss Edna Zick, Treasurer. 

The purpose of the organization is “service to the community.” Its 
present membership is thirty-three. The club holds two meetings each 
month, on the first and third Wednesday. 1957 officers are: Miss 
Marion Klein, President; Mrs. Dorothy Worzalla, Vice President; 



FRATERNAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 29I 

Mrs. Ann Evenstad, Treasurer; Miss Helen Alferi, Secretary. These 
officers, along with Miss Edna Zick, Mrs. Margaret Laab, Miss Cora 
Heckrodt and Miss Leone Bovee comprise the Board of Directors. 

Submitted by Miss Ruth Roper 
J^eenah .{dons Qlub 

The Neenah Lions Club was issued its charter on March 27, 1936. The 
following were Charter Members: Roy Babcock, Wm. B. Benedict, 
G. W. Gibson, H. D. Gates, H. Hameister, A 1 Hidde, F. J. Hauser, 
Ole Jorgensen, C. M. Jansen, Arthur Kessler, R. O. Kuehmsted, 
E. C. Joyce, A. J. Laflin, E. W. Ladwig, Wm. Kraemer, R. E. Kelly, 
Dr. R. C. Lowe, A. G. Prunuske, Geo. W. Pyott, Jr., O. B. Pratt, 
Clement Rickaby, Dr. F. H. Simerson, L. M. Steffen, Dr. B. K. 
Ozanne, B. T. Dodge and Rev. Abner Laque. Three charter members 
are still in the club. They are L. M. Steffen, Arthur Kessler and 
A 1 Laffin. 

The officers for the coming year 1958-1959 are Dr. H. Paul Jacobi, 
President, Fred Michel, First Vice-President and Ray E. Cheslock, 
Secretary-Treasurer. The Club meets every other Tuesday evening 
and is composed of local business and professional men. Present mem- 
bership is 40. 

Typical of the club’s accomplishments in the last 22 years are: Com- 
pletely furnished four rooms for Theda Clark Hospital, purchased 
countless pairs of glasses for needy children in the city, an Isolette 
for the nursery at Theda Clark Hospital, eye testing equipment for 
the public schools, and a television set to Sunnyview Sanatorium. 
Neenah Lions are proud of their community and are ever ready to 
do their share to make Neenah-Menasha a better place in which to 
live. 



Submitted by Ray E Cheslock, Sec’y-Treas. 



THEDA CLARK MEMORIAL HOSPITAL 



Theda Clark Memorial Hospital was erected in 1909 as a memorial 
to Mrs. Theda Clark Peters. Wishing to give the community some 
needed and worthwhile gift, she had made a bequest of $96,000. After 
considering the possible uses for the money, her family decided that a 
hospital was the best answer. 

To place the new institution on a secure financial foundation, Mrs. 

Peters’ family made an additional gift 
of $30,000. Construction of the build- 
ing took $80,000, and the remaining 
$46,000 was set aside as an endowment, 
the income from which was to be used 
to help cover the cost of operation. 

The hospital provided 25 beds, but 
the first year only a total of 196 pa- 
tients were admitted. By 1919 admis- 
sions rose to 1,114. More space and 
more facilities were essential. The Board 
of Trustees decided on the construction 
of an additional wing, doubling the 
original space. Construction costs had 
jumped during the years of World War 
I. Cost of the addition was more than 
$150,000, and it became necessary for 
the family of the original donor to look 
for outside help in shouldering the load. Local firms and individuals 
made contributions totaling $60,000. 

A nursing school had been started in 1910, with five students. Miss 
Amelia Ritchie, who was Superintendent of the hospital, directed the 
school. This school was affiliated with Cook County Hospital and 
students were given part of their training there. The school continued 
until 1938, and had graduated 127 students. An alumni association 
was formed, and since the nurses had all taken surgical training under 
Miss Julia Sorenson, who was connected with the hospital almost 

292 




C. B. Clark— 

Born September 5, 1882 
Died April 6, 1949 

He loved the city of his birth, and gave 
of himself and of his means to its welfare 
as has no other citizen. 




HOSPITAL 




Theda Clark Memorial Hospital under construction. 



from the beginning until she resigned in 1952, the association honored 
Miss Sorenson with an honorary membership. 

Growing pains were felt again in 1928. The school of nursing had 
outgrown its quarters, and plans were drawn for a new Nurses’ Home 
to cost 3107,000. Half of this amount was furnished by the family of 
the original donor, the other half was subscribed by a group of inter- 
ested individuals of the community. 

By 1947 admissions had grown to 3,321. Pile population of the area 
served by Theda Clark had grown from 16,500 in 1910 to an estimated 




The completed building (1909) 




-94 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




1948 addition made to original hospital building. 



35,000 in 194“. The hospital trustees had felt for some time that an 
expansion program was necessary. With the end of World War II an 
application was made for approval to start construction of a new hos- 
pital. Construction was started soon after. The old building was re- 
vamped and the final result was a new hospital throughout. The 
hospital has 164 beds, and every modern facility is provided. Funds 
to pay for the hospital were provided by C. B. Clark, with the help 
of industry, organizations and individuals. 

The new and enlarged hospital has proved its worth. During the 
year ending April 30, 1957, 6,307 patients were admitted, there were 
1,082 births, 6,234 outpatients, and 5,342 operations performed. A 
school for practical nurses is being conducted, headed by Mrs. Gladys 
Nelson. 

And, as these lines are written, expansion plans are again being 
formulated. 



Compiled by Miss Esther K/ingman, Sup/. 



NATURAL ICE BUSINESS 



We were well into the 20th Century (about the third decade) when 
electricity made its appearance for household gadgets and appliances, 
including refrigeration units. Prior to that time, all refrigeration was 
achieved through natural ice, harvested during January and Febru- 
ary, and stored in rough frame buildings on the shore of Lake Winne- 
bago. The ice, as it was stacked, tier upon tier, was buried in sawdust 
to protect it from summer’s heat. The ice was delivered to customers 
by a horse drawn covered wagon, the driver using ice tongs to carry 
the cakes from the street to the ice box. 

One icehouse, owned by Thomas Jones, stood at the east end of 
F.ast Wisconsin Avenue. The other and larger establishment was the 
property of William Arnemann. His son, Arthur Arnemann, submits 
the following as to his father: 

“William Arnemann— arrived in 1872, married in 1873. Established natural ice 
business in 1876. Original ice house located at homestead, 62a Isabella Street. Fred 
Staffeld was first regular ice delivery man, hired in 1878. 

“Later the property by the lake was purchased, and two more ice houses were 
erected. 'I'he swimming pool now occupies the land on which the ice houses stood. 

“The business was in the family until 1937, when it was sold to A. E. Schultz, fuel 
dealer.” 



INDUSTRIAL 



'Villas Tag (Company 

The Atlas Tag Company was organized in 1932 by Russell and Renfru 
Kuehmsted to manufacture tags of all kinds. It was purchased and 
reorganized in 1940 by Irvin L. Young, of Chicago. There are now 
branches in Chicago and Canada. Present officers are: Irvin L. Young, 
President; H. W. Graverson, Vice President; Allen B. Adams, Secre- 
tary; and F. B. Schreiber, Treasurer. 



Cjeorge ^Banta (‘ompany, Inc. 

George Banta, Sr., whose life spanned 78 years from 1857 to 1935, 
was founder of the Banta Publishing Company, which not only sends 
its magazines and textbooks and school “workbooks” to the far places 
of the earth, but furnishes employment and opportunity to over 600 
people, many of whom are Neenah citizens. As in every constructive 
enterprise, the origin of the Banta Company is traceable to an idea. 
George Banta, Sr., when a boy of eight years, with his brother Charles, 
set up a hand operated press in their father’s woodshed. Always inter- 
ested in printing as a hobby, he later installed a foot press in the family 
dining room, following his marriage to Ellen Lee Pleasants in 1886. It 
was not until 1901 that Mr. Banta decided to make a business of his 
hobby. In that year the George Banta Printing Company was incor- 
porated, with a capital of §4,000. Officers were: George Banta, Sr., 
President; W. C. Wing, Vice President; George L. Pierce, Secretary- 
Treasurer; George Stein, Superintendent. Two years later the name 
was changed to “George Banta Publishing Company.” 

In 1903 the enterprising young concern obtained a contract for 
printing The Scroll of “Phi Delta Theta,” a college fraternity that 
Mr. Banta served with devotion since his college days. At the time 
it was necessary to set the magazine by hand. Other fraternity anti 
sorority journals were added as customers. Since those early days a 
great majority of the college fraternity journals have continued to 

296 






Gilbert Paper Company 



Neenah Foundry Company 



George Banta Company, Inc. 



Office of Edgewater Paper Company 





A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



298 

bear the imprint of the Collegiate Press, as the Banta firm is known 
the country over. In 1912 Mr. Banta founded Banta s Greek Ex- 
change the interfraternity journal serving the college fraternity 
world. The publication is now edited by George Banta, Jr., present 
President, who joined his father in the business in 1911. 

An important relationship with the United States Naval Institute 
began in 1922. This resulted in an unbroken flow of business, and a 
citation: — “In recognition of thirty years of continuous and outstand- 
ing service to the Naval Institute in the furtherance of its objectives, 
—the advancement of professional literacy and scientific knowledge.” 

During the early ’30s the Banta Company pioneered a revolution- 
ary educational process known as the now familiar “work book” or 
“work pad.” A large web-fed offset press was installed in their new 
Midway plant to produce these books in quantity and at low cost. 

During World War I, R. E. Thickens, later to become President, 
came into the organization. His first assignment was to head up a staff 
for the preparation of military texts, which bulked large in the com- 
pany’s business during that era. 

From 1 9 1 1 to the present, the story is one of progressive expansion, 
punctuated by the purchase in 1943 of 27.1 acres in the township of 
Menasha, on which the Midway plant was constructed; the property 
of the Island Paper Company (former Howard Paper Company) was 
purchased in 1939. 

Mr. R. E. Thickens having passed on, the present officers are: 
George Banta, Jr., President; C. A. Peerenboom, Vice President; 
J. H. Wilterding, Vice President; George Banta III, Secretary; L. C. 
Roeck, Treasurer. 

Number of employees and pay rolls by decades: 



1901 


— S 


198.00 (3 mos.) 


I 94 ° 


418 


817,045.34 


1910 


— 


17,677.20 


1950 


598 


2,418,970.14 


1920 


162 


170,196.00 


1955 


646 


3,500,000.00 


T 93 ° 


298 


534,491.88 









INDUSTRIAL 



299 



'Bergstrom Foundry 

In 1876, H. Babcock, I). W. and George O. Bergstrom purchased the 
foundry from Smith, Van Ostrand & Leavens. They manufactured 
stoves, furnaces and plows. 

George Bergstrom purchased the interest of I). W. Bergstrom in 
1904, and a short time later, the interest of H. Babcock estate. In 1928 
George O. Bergstrom sold his interest to James W. Bergstrom. 

At this time a furnace fitting manufacturing plant at Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin, was purchased. It was the intention to manufacture fur- 
naces and the necessary fittings for the installation of furnaces, and 
to retire from the stove business. The Milwaukee plant was operated 
for about a year, when the manufacturing end was moved to Neenah 
and the Milwaukee plant used as a warehouse and jobbing center for 
the furnaces and fittings, as well as other sheet metal products. 

The Milwaukee plant was closed after several years of operation, 
and the Neenah plant continued, except the foundry end of the busi- 
ness. Thereafter furnace castings were purchased. 

In 1948 the real estate and buildings were sold to Lyall Williams 
and associates, who closed the manufacturing end of the business, 
and revamped the buildings, using them for their plumbing supply 
business. 



Bergstrom Taper Company 

Bergstrom Paper Company was founded in 1904 through the pur- 
chase of the Winnebago Paper Mills from W. L. Davis. The property 
was in such a poor state of repair, that a complete renovation of the 
mill was necessary following its purchase. 

The founders were 1 ). W. Bergstrom, who came to this country in 
1852, at the age of five; and his son, John N. Bergstrom. I). W. Berg- 
strom was formerly a partner in the Neenah Stove Works, renamed 
Bergstrom Brothers & Company, but relinquished his interest in this 
company when he purchased the Winnebago Paper Mills in 1904. 
Bergstrom Paper Company makes book paper of fine quality, used for 
law books, Bibles, magazines, school books, labels and many other 



3 °° 



A HIS T () R Y OF N E E N A II 



uses. In the making of this paper, high grade waste paper fibers are 
blended with virgin pulp fibers, resulting in a smooth, high-quality 
sheet well known throughout the paper trade as Valkyrie book papers. 

Th is re-use of waste paper has contributed importantly to con- 
servation in Wisconsin, making possible the savings of 50,000 cords of 
pulpwood every year, according to present figures. In 1912 a new 132- 
inch paper machine was installed, in a new brick building. In 1919 a 
new 158-inch paper machine went into use. Since that time both 
paper machines have been completely rebuilt, in 1947-48. New build- 
ings continued to sprout, a new finishing building in 1915; a new ware- 
house in 1926; a new power plant in 1928. This was extensively dam- 
aged by an explosion in 1945 and was rebuilt. The laboratory building 
and water plant were completed in 1941; the hydrapulper building 
addition in 1947; the Dixie warehouse, located on U. S. Highway 41, 
south of Neenah, in 1948; and a waste disposal plant was finished in 
1952. This is an installation built solely for the purpose of removing 
sludge from the effluent of the paper mill. This water, after it is used 
in the manufacture of paper, must go through a process of settling and 
filtration, to clarify it sufficiently to meet certain standards set by the 
State of Wisconsin before it can be discharged into the lower lake. 

It may be interesting to note here that this sludge so removed is 
finally reduced to the form of a sticky clay, and this material is being 
used as fill for the shore line of Little Lake Butte des Morts, at the 
rear of the mill. In time this filled-in area will become a park and 
playground, according to present plans of the city of Neenah. 

A new finishing plant located on the company’s property in the 
township of Neenah on Highway 41 went into operation in the fall of 
1956. Also, ground was broken during August, 1956, for a new office 
building for occupancy by mid-year 1957. 

The key personnel of Bergstrom Paper Company have been D. W. 
Bergstrom, founder and first President of the company, serving until 
his death in 1928. Sara H. Bergstrom, his wife, was Vice President 
1904-1921. 

John N. Bergstrom, co-founder and son of D. W. Bergstrom, was 
Secretary-Treasurer 1904-1921, Vice President 1921-1928 and Presi- 
dent 1928-1948. He died in 1951. W. C. Bergstrom, son of D. W. 



INDUSTRIAL 



301 



Bergstrom, was associated briefly with the company and served as 
Assistant Treasurer 1922-1928 and as Treasurer 1928-1929. D. W. 
Bergstrom, Jr., son of D. W. Bergstrom, was Secretary 1916-1928 
and Vice President 1928-1935, when he died. N. H. Bergstrom, 
son of D. W. Bergstrom, has served as Treasurer 1921-1928, Sec- 
retary 1928-1929, Secretary-Treasurer 1929-1935, Vice President 
and Secretary 1935-1944, Vice President 1944-1948 and has been 




The Bergstrom Paper Company’s new finishing plant and offices southwest of Neenah on Highway 41* 



President and General Manager since 1948. Burt B. Fisher, formerly 
of Appleton, Wisconsin, joined the company in 1930 and served as 
Secretary for a number of years. He is now Vice President for Sales, 
since 1954. L. A. Carpenter came into the company in 1935 as Produc- 
tion Manager, was its Treasurer 1944-1950 and then Vice President 
for Production in 1950. He died in 1951. Foster P. Doane, Jr., formerly 
of Glens Falls, New York, was hired in 1952 to replace Mr. Carpenter 
as Production Manager. He became Vice President for Production in 
1954. Arthur R. Hedlund is the Controller, coming to the company in 
1945, after years of experience with Arthur Andersen & Co., of Mil- 
waukee, a well-known firm of accountants. He was elected Assistant 
Treasurer-Controller in 1950, and in 1956 was made Treasurer-Con- 
troller. 1 ). W. Bergstrom III, grandson of the founder, was Treasurer 
1950-1956. In 1956 he was elected Vice President and Secretary. 



3 02 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



H. R. Moore, a lawyer, joined the firm in 1951, serving as its legal 
counsel, and became Secretary in 1954. He was formerly associated 
with other members of his family in a law firm, Moore Attorneys-at- 
Law, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, fn 1956 he was elected Administrative 
Vice President. 

Meyer Tiurstein is Sons 

Meyer Burstein & Sons was founded by Meyer Burstein. He ar- 
rived in Neenah in 1900, rented a place near the corner of Main Street 
and Wisconsin Avenue, to sort mixed rags and prepare graded rags 
suitable for writing paper mills. About 1902 he moved to larger quar- 
ters on Canal Street west of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 
tracks and continued sorting rags. About 1905 he bought the Billstein 
property on the corner of Walnut Street and Wisconsin Avenue. In 
1906 he built an addition west of this building and began grading 
paper stock, as well as rags, and acquired the land north to Canal 
Street. In 1913 he built a small building north of Wisconsin Avenue 
near Canal Street and began the manufacture of cotton wiping waste 
for use in lubricating railroad car journal boxes. By 1917 it was neces- 
sary to build an addition consisting of three stories and basement, the 
building occupying all of the space between the back of Wisconsin 
Avenue and Canal Street. At this time he discontinued sorting of rags 
and paper stock, so that the entire property between Wisconsin Ave- 
nue and Canal Street was used for the manufacture of waste. About 
1945 waste used for oil filters for trucks and diesel locomotives was 
added to the other grades of waste. 

Meyer Burstein’s sons, Joseph 1 )., started to work in the business in 
1911, and Abraham G., started in 1915. After Meyer Burstein’s death 
in 1926, the sons continued the business as Meyer Burstein & Sons. 



Central Taper Company 

Central Paper Company began in December 1917 under the name 
of “George Banta Paper Company.” At that time it was really sort of 
a department of the George Banta Publishing Company. The business 



NDUS T R I A L 



.303 



operated one slitting and rewinding machine for making small roll 
paper products. Original incorporators were George Hanta, President; 
George Banta, Jr., Vice President; R. E. Thickens, Secretary and 
Treasurer. 

Early in 1918 the company put in equipment for the manufacture 
of gummed paper, and at that time W. K. Gerbrick became part 
owner and Secretary and Manager of the business. 

In 1920 the name was changed to Central Paper Company 

In 1929 Stuart E. Thompson was employed in the Sales Depart- 
ment, and a few years later became Sales Manager. 

In 1935 George Banta, Jr., became President of the company, to 
take the place of his father, George Banta, who died in September of 
that year. R. E. Thickens became Vice President, and W. K. Gerbrick 
continued as Secretary, Treasurer and General Manager. 

In 1939 the company acquired the interests of George Banta, Jr., 
and R. E. Thickens, who were no longer actively engaged with the 
company, and at that time W. K. Gerbrick became President, Stuart 
Thompson became Secretary-Treasurer, while Mrs. W. K. Gerbrick 
acted as Vice President. 

In 1956 the officers are W. K. Gerbrick, President and General 
Manager; W. J. Gerbrick, Vice President and Production Manager; 
Stuart E. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer and Sales Manager. 

Products manufactured are gummed paper tapes, various kinds, 
both printed and plain; small roll paper items, such as adding machine 
rolls, decorated papers and bags. 

Pay roll by decades: 

1920 — 10 employees >940 — 50 employees 

1930 — 25 employees 1955 — 95 employees 



Sdge-ivater Taper Company 

The Edgewater Paper Company, of Menasha, Wisconsin, was started 
by Mr. G. W. Young, Sr., a pioneer in the paper industry in Wiscon- 
sin. It was incorporated in September, 1917, with the following offi- 
cers: 



304 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Gavin W. Young, Sr. — President 

James B. Nash— Vice President 

Henry M. Northrop -Secretary-Treasurer 

Directors: Messrs. Young, Nash and Northrup 

In September of 1917 the company purchased from Gavin Young, 
Sr., the property on which is located the office and plant of the Edge- 
water Paper, erecting thereon the original section of the present mill. 
A house located on the property was used as an office building. 

In 1919 Mr. Northrup disposed of his stock in the company to 
J. Dudleigh Young, who had entered the employ of the company in 
April of 1919, and in November of that year, J. D. Young was elected 
Director and Secretary-Treasurer of the company, with G. W. Young, 
Sr., James B. Nash, Leo Nash and J. D. Young holding all of the out- 
standing stock. G. W. Young, Sr., and James B. Nash retained their 
offices of President and Vice President and Directors of the company. 
In the early part of 1920 G. W. Young, Jr., entered the employ of the 
company, but was not then elected to office. 

In December of 1923 Mr. Young, Sr., purchased from Mr. Nash his 
stock in the Edgewater Paper Company. At that time G. W. Young, 
Jr., was elected director to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement 
of Mr. Nash. He was also elected to the post of Vice President formerly 
held by Mr. Nash. In September, 1926, Mr. Young, Sr., sold to G. W. 
Young, Jr., certain shares in the Edgewater Paper Company; in Octo- 
ber of 1926 Mr. Young, Sr., purchased the outstanding shares held by 
Leo Nash. 

After the death of G. W. Young, Sr., on August 31, T934, the follow- 
ing officers were named: 

J. D. Young — President and Secretary 

G. W. Young, Jr. — Vice President and Treasurer 

Directors: J. D. Young 

G. W. Young, Jr. 

E. G. F. Smith 

Following the death of Mr. G. W. Young, Jr., on January 1, 1953, the 
following officers were elected: 

J. D. Young — President and Treasurer 

D. E. Ryan — Vice President in Charge of Sales 

Margaret R. Lobb- -Secretary 



INDUSTRIAL 



305 



Directors: J. D. Young 

J. Russell Ward 
Gavin W. Young V 

Mr. E. G. F. Smith retired from his post as Director on February 3, 
1953. On April 27, 1953, Harry A. Johnson, general superintendent of 
the company, was elected to the post of Vice President in charge of 
production. 

Following the death of Mr. Johnson October 20, 1954, Mr. Walter 
F. Anderson was elected to the post of general superintendent and 
Vice President in charge of production. At the present time the officers 
are: 

J. D. Young — President and Treasurer 

D. E. Ryan — Vice President in Charge of Sales 

W. E. Anderson — Vice President in Charge of Production 

Mrs. Margaret R. Lobb — Secretary 

Directors: J. D. Young 

J. Russell Ward 
Gavin W. Young V 

1'he original manufacturing plant of the company has been enlarged 
several times, notably in 1946-48, when an entirely new addition was 
made to house several of the machines formerly operated in the old 
original section of the mill. At that time the original section was large- 
ly rebuilt. In 1951-52 a new office building was constructed and occu- 
pied in July of 1952. 

As of the present time the principal products are gummed paper 
sealing tape, plain and creped waterproof papers and plain creped 
kraft, with all products being sold nationally under the trade names 
of “Dryseal” waterproof papers and “Stayon” gummed sealing tape. 

In 1920 the number of employees totaled 25, with an annual pay 
roll of approximately $18,000. At the end of 1931 the yearly pay roll 
was $44,000; at the end of 1940, $66,000; at the end of 1950, $177,000. 
The present number of employees is 45; this has been the average for 
the past fifteen years. 




Kimberly-Clark Corporation 
Neenah Mill Badger Globe Division 




Hardwood Products Corporation 




Neenah Paper Company (office inset) 




N D U S TRIAL 



307 



Q’alloivay (Company 

The Galloway Company, formerly the Neenah Milk Products Com- 
pany, began as a bottle milk and cheese factory, started by George M. 
Danke in 1925. Jn 19.35 the company was reorganized, with Albert 
Johnson, Carl Larson (Chicago), C. F. Gerhardt, O. B. Pratt and 
E. E. Jandrey, shareholders. It was again reorganized in 1939, with 
Mr. E. P. Galloway and Mr. D. C. West of Fond du Lac as the ma- 
jority stockholders. 

The company buys whole milk from approximately six hundred 
farms in Winnebago, Outagamie and Portage counties, and processes 
the milk for fluid consumption in the Neenah-Menasha market and 
into dairy products for the ice cream, candy, bakery and dairy indus- 
tries in the eastern half of the United States. 

On October 30, 1956, the name of the company was changed to the 
Galloway Company. Officers of the corporation in 1958 are: E. P. 
Galloway, President; John R. Galloway, Vice President; R. P. Gallo- 
way, Secretary; and E. J. Galloway, Treasurer. 



(filbert Taper Company 

The Gilbert Paper Company was established April 27, 1887, by Wil- 
liam Gilbert; capital stock of $100,000, with 200 shares of $500 each, 
40 shares each to William Gilbert, William M. Gilbert, Albert M. 
Gilbert, Theodore M. Gilbert and George Gilbert. The original officers 
were: President, William Gilbert; Treasurer, Albert M. Gilbert; Secre- 
tary, Theodore M. Gilbert. William M. Gilbert and George Gilbert, 
with the officers, made up the directorship. 

Alex Paul was the first Superintendent, and other early operative 
men were Joe Hill, Fred Huband and William Nash. 

From the starting one-machine operation, a second machine was 
installed in 1891, and a third machine in 1919. The #3 machine was 
completely rebuilt and enlarged in 1954. 

On the death of William Gilbert in February, 1900, William M. 
Gilbert became the second President. 

Of the original founding group, George Gilbert passed away in 1891 ; 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



3°8 

Albert M. Gilbert in 1907; Theodore M. Gilbert in 1923; and William 
M. Gilbert in 1926. 

With the passing of his father, Albert C. Gilbert was elected to the 
Presidency in 1926. Succeeding Presidencies were George M. Gilbert 
in 1951 and T. M. Gilbert in 1954. Officers along with T. M. Gilbert 
at the present time are N. T. Gilbert, William Gilbert, T. C. Gatlin, 
John D. Schmerein and A. C. Haselow. 

As of 1956, personnel is approximately 400 people, with an annual 
pay roll in excess of $2,000,000. Yearly production is now 14,000 tons, 
representing 1 1% of the industry total. 

Manufacture throughout the years has consisted of the higher qual- 
ity cotton fibre content papers, such as bond, ledger, index, onionskin, 
safety, manuscript, currency, tracing and industrial specialties. Quali- 
ties range from 25% cotton fibre content to 100% cotton fibre content 
papers. Many “firsts” in the industry have accounted for both pres- 
tige and quality, and the physical equipment today is recognized as 
the finest in the field. 



Hardwood Products Corporation 

The Hardwood Products Corporation, organized in 1910, is the out- 
growth of a small veneer plant located near Vicksburg, Mississippi, 
and organized in 1908 by several Neenah young men who were still in 
their twenties. The original incorporators were: C. B. Clark, D. L. 
Kimberly, William C. Wing, and E. D. Beals. The Mississippi plant 
was known originally as the Kimberly-Wing Company, and the name 
was later changed to the Mississippi Veneer & Lumber Company. 

The original officers of the Kimberly-Wing Company at Cedars, 
Mississippi, were: W. C. Wing, President; E. D. Beals, \' T ice President; 
C. B. Clark, Secretary; D. L. Kimberly, Treasurer. 

In 1910 the Hardwood Products Company of Neenah was organized 
and the plant was completed in the middle of 1911. The original offi- 
cers of the Hardwood Products Company were: W. C. Wing, Presi- 
dent; D. L. Kimberly, Vice President; C. B. Clark, Secretary; E. I). 
Beals, Treasurer. 



INDUSTRIAL 



309 



Mr. Beals served as President from 19 ij until his death in 1928, 
when he was succeeded by 1 ). L. Kimberly, who served as President 
until 1952, when he was named Chairman of the Board. 

S. F. Shattuck of Neenah was also one of the original founders of 
Hardwood Products Corporation, and served as a Director and Offi- 
cer until 1947. 

The present officers are as follows: Chairman of the Board, D. L. 
Kimberly; President, H. H. Des Marais; Vice President and Treas- 
urer, Henry J. Young; Secretary, R. L. Teschner (of Milwaukee); 
Plant Manager, Leo Boehm; Director, S. N. Pickard. 

In 1922 the name of the company was changed to Hardwood Prod- 
ucts Corporation. 

During World War I, the entire capacity of the plant was devoted 
to the manufacture of Navy Shell Boxes, and during World War II 
the company manufactured numerous items for war use, including its 
regular products, doors, on many wartime installations. 

Located in the heart of the hardwood country, the Hardwood Prod- 
ucts Corporation has specialized in the manufacture of high quality 
hardwood veneered doors, constructed primarily to architectural spec- 
ifications. 

Its market extends the entire length and breadth of the United 
States and Canada. A very substantial portion of its raw materials is 
grown in our own Wisconsin and Northern Michigan, along with ex- 
tensive shipments of softwood for core purposes from the West Coast 
and other midwest points. 

The plant is equipped with the most modern, efficient door machin- 
ery, and is one of the largest in the country devoted exclusively to the 
manufacture of doors made to architectural details and specifications. 

Included among its products are standard solid core flush doors, 
usually supplied for schools, hospitals and institutions. Aside from 
that, the Company also produces a very special sound resistant door 
which has high acoustical qualities and which has been installed in 
practically every new broadcasting studio erected during the past ten 
years in this country. This door is also used extensively in maternity 
wards in hospitals, doctors’ offices, music rooms in high schools and 
similar installations. The Company also produces a fire resistant wood 



3i° 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



door, in which the material is impregnated to meet standard fire tests. 

Hardwood Products Corporation doors have been installed in most 
of the Veterans’ Hospitals, which were erected after World War II 
throughout the country, and among the more notable installations 
during the past few years is included the White House at Washington, 
D. C., the Rotary International Building at Evanston, Illinois, the 
large new Medical Center at the University of Southern California, 
soundproof doors in the United Nation’s buildings, and numerous 
offices, schools, hospitals and other institutions. 

J. W. Hewitt Machine Company 

1910 — Jamison Machine Works purchased by J. W. Hewitt, Sr. This 
was the founding of the present company. At the time of pur- 
chase there were five men employed, a small building and very 
little equipment. 

1930 — Building enlarged to accommodate more modern equipment 
and give additional work space. 

1933 — J. W. Hewitt Machine Company was incorporated. The origi- 
nal officers were: J. W. Hewitt, Sr., Founder, President and 
Treasurer; Olaf Myhre, Vice President; Leona Landskron, 
Secretary. 

At the time the business was incorporated, the work force had 
doubled. 

1936 — Building again enlarged by an additional 2,000 sq. ft. of floor 
space. 

1942 — Final expansion to present building; new and modern roll 
grinding equipment purchased, together with several different 
types of machine tools. 

1954 — Entire interior of our building remodeled, a new Parrel Roll 
Grinder capable of grinding 48" dia. X340" face rolls installed. 
The weld shop moved from parent building to space rented in 
the Muench Building on North Commercial Street. Warehouse 
erected on Chapman Avenue. These moves were necessary to 
accommodate our new associates, Stowe- Wood ward, hie., of 
Newton Upper Falls, Mass. 



NDUSTRIAL 



3 n 

Throughout the entire history of the firm, it has served the paper 
industry by making all types of rolls, regrinding paper mill rolls and 
doing repair work. Special made-to-order machines are also made for 
the paper industry. 




Hewitt Machine Company 



At the present time the firm has sixty employees. The officers are 
J. W. Hewitt, Jr., President and Treasurer; Olaf Myhre, Vice Presi- 
dent; and Leona Landskron, Secretary. 

In 1938 the Hewitt Transmission Company was formed. This firm 
also served the paper industry by stocking and supplying needed 
replacements of bearings, couplings, speed reducers, sheaves, V-belts 
and many other items too numerous to mention. Hewitt Transmission 
Company is now headed by r J. W. Hewitt, Jr., President. 



Hoerning' s Qoncrete Troducts 

Hoerning’s Concrete Products was begun in 1930, located on 
Highway 1 14. In 1932 the business was moved to Konemac Street, in 
Menasha. 

The company originally manufactured concrete blocks, and later 
increased their products to include concrete, cinder and slag blocks 
and bricks and split rock. 

Arnold B. Hoerning and W. J. Hoerning are the owners. 




Atlas Tag Company 



Galloway Company 



Jersild Knitting Corporation 





N D U S T R F A L 



Jersild Knitting Corporation 

The founder of the Jersild Knitting Corporation, of Neenah, was 
Reverend Jens N. Jersild, an ordained minister of the gospel. Mr. 
Jersild was a native of Denmark, coming to the United States in 1884. 
He accepted ministerial calls in Chicago, Alden, Minnesota; Oconto 
and Neenah. He served as pastor of the Danish Lutheran Church in 
Neenah for eight years. 

In 1899 Mr. Jersild visited Europe, and on his return, organized on 
a small scale what is now known as the Jersild Knitting Corporation, 
which was operated as a co-partnership for a time, but, in 1901, it was 
incorporated under the laws of Wisconsin with Mr. Jersild as its first 
President. Operations were begun at 329 North Commercial Street, 
Neenah, in the two-story frame building, which formerly was the old 
St. Patrick’s school, the building having previously been moved to the 
site. During subsequent years new buildings were erected, and the 
company continued to occupy the location until April, 1953, when it 
moved into its new quarters at 340 First Street, Neenah. 

Mr. Jersild died in 1917 after having previously retired from busi- 
ness. His eldest son, N. C. Jersild, became President of the company 
in 1933, and continued in this capacity until his death in July, 1955. 
Officers of the company are Bert S. Dutcher, President; James Dyre- 
by, Secretary; and E. A. Kalfahs, Treasurer and General Manager. 

The company manufactures a line of high grade men’s, boys’ and 
women’s sweaters and knitted sportswear. Its products are sold from 
coast to coast. 



Kimberly-Clark Corporation 

W hen Cunningham rang down the curtain on Neenah ’s history from 
its early beginnings to 1878, Kimberly, Clark and Co. had been in 
business for six years. The original organization was a partnership of 
four young men from Massachusetts and New York states -John A. 
Kimberly, Havilah Babcock, Charles B. Clark, and Frank C. Shat- 
tuck. They pooled their savings and built a one-machine mill to make 
two tons per day of newsprint from rags. Known as the Globe Mill, it 



3*4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



stood on the canal bank about 300 feet west of North Commercial 
Street. 

Moses Hooper was their attorney. Mr. Hooper handled the legal 
affairs of the partnership, and later of the corporation, until his death 
in 1932. 

Among the treasured keepsakes of the early days is a 1 5 cent Civil 
War “sh inplaster,” being the first money received by the infant indus- 
try for the sale of paper. It is recorded that a little girl, hearing that 
paper was to be made that day at the Globe Mill, asked Mr. Kimberly 
for a few sheets and offered in payment 1 5 cents in paper currency. 

In 1874, a never-ending expansion began in the purchase from Smith 
and Van Ostrand of the so-called Neenah Paper Mills, a wooden 
structure further west on the canal bank. As these lines are written 
(April, 1957) expansion, not only in continental United States and 
Canada, but in foreign parts, has reached the point of appointment of 
a manager of foreign operations to oversee the corporation’s activities 
in Mexico, England, Australia, South Africa and Germany. 

In 1878, the Atlas Mill at Appleton was added to the productive 
units, although full ownership of that property was not effected until 
a later date. 

Always more important than brick, mortar, and machines are 
people. During the ’80s, Frank J. Sensenbrenner was employed as a 
bookkeeper. In due time he took the load and the leadership from the 
original partners, rising through the echelons of supervision to the 
presidency. 

In 1880, the partners incorporated as Kimberly & Clark Company, 
with a capital of $400,000. The Badger Mill, adjacent to the original 
Globe, came into being in 1884, adding to the company’s output of 
newsprint. 1886 saw the organization of a subsidiary, the Telulah 
Paper Company of Appleton, making groundwood pulp and more 
newsprint. (This mill was later sold to the Fox River Paper 
Company.) 

With demand still growing, the management in 1889 undertook the 
first of many greater projects to follow. The water power and a large 
acreage was purchased three miles east of Appleton, and the Kimberly 
mill and village came into being. 



N D U S T R I A L 



315 

Having weathered the depression of the ’90s, the company in the 
late ’90s moved into the north country, building a ground wood, sul- 
phite, and two-machine paper mill at Niagara, Wisconsin. 'This also 
involved responsibility for a village. 

W hile this expansion was in progress, three sons of the founders 
entered the business: James C. Kimberly, S. Frank Shattuck, and 
C. B. (Bill) Clark. In 1914 Ernst Mahler, an outstanding chemical 




Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah Mill Lakeview Division 



engineer, entered the Kimberly-Clark picture. To him and the many 
young engineers and technical men who followed him, go the credit for 
the remarkable technical advances of the ensuing 40 years. 

During World War I, the company made an absorbent substance 
known as cellucotto)i for the Army and the Red Cross. Following the 
war and after, from a year of research on peacetime use of cellucotton, 
emerged a sanitary napkin to which the name “Kotex” was applied. 
Soon after, “Kleenex" appeared on the market, followed by a galaxy 
of kindred articles. 

Plants to manufacture or convert into these products now include 
the Lakeview and Badger-Globe at Neenah; Memphis, Tennessee; 
Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario; Winnipeg, 
Manitoba; Mexico, Australia, England, South Africa, in addition to 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Kimberly-Clark Corporation of Canada; and new plants at Fullerton, 
California, and New Milford, Connecticut. 

To insure an adequate supply of gauze for its growing Kotex busi- 
ness, Kimberly-Clark purchased in 1946 a fully integrated cotton tex- 
tile mill at Balfour, North Carolina. 

The company extended itself into northern Ontario during the 
1920’s with the !h(ew York Times , erecting a plant at Kapuskasing to 
make newsprint for the Times and other eastern dailies. Also in the 
early 1920’s the corporation entered upon a two-machine paper mill at 
Niagara Falls, New York, to service its eastern book paper and maga- 
zine customers. During the late ’40s, the company undertook the con- 
struction and operation of a newsprint mill at Coosa Pines, Alabama, 
in company with a group of southern publishers. 

Tn 1951, the corporation purchased the Munising Paper Company, 
of Munising, Michigan, and thereby added to its sales potential a 
varied line of specialty papers. To safeguard its raw material supply, 
the corporation built at Terrace Bay, Ontario, in 1946, a three hun- 
dred ton pulp mill and a modern village on the north shore of Lake 
Superior. 

research — By 1912, it was becoming apparent that science was des- 
tined to make a major contribution to the making of paper, which 
heretofore had been considered an art. 

It was because of this realization that Ernst Mahler was invited to 
associate himself with Kimberly-Clark. He entered the company, as 
before noted, in 1914, bringing with him a rich technical background. 
A chemical laboratory was set up in a building which stood on the site 
now occupied by the Neenah Paper Company office. 

Following World War I, research activities were moved to the Kim- 
berly Mill. In 1925, an experimental mill was constructed at Neenah. 
In 1929 came a laboratory for research on Kotex napkins, and in 1938 
a laboratory for research in the field of physics. A specialty wadding 
laboratory was added in 1941 to keep pace with a growing demand for 
these products. By 1941, 55 persons were employed in research activi- 
ties. 

World War II brought exacting demands to which the corporation’s 



NOUS T RIAL 



317 



research talent responded wholeheartedly. Following Y-J Day, the 
old Neenah Mill, which had been used latterly for storage, was reno- 
vated and modernized into a technical center. In 1946, the entire re- 
search and development organization, 160 scientists, technicians and 
their helpers, were brought together under one roof. 

During and immediately after World War II, the Kimlark plant, 
situated near the south boundary of Neenah, underwent three rapid 
transformations. Prior to that time it contained equipment to weave 
rugs out of paper. 

In 1942, Kimberly-Clark’s resourceful engineers converted the Kim- 
lark into an ordnance plant, for manufacture of the automatic, self- 
propelled, anti-aircraft gun known as the M-45. In 1944, the ordnance 
division again was reorganized to assemble the much-needed M48AZ 
point detonating fuse. June 25, 1944, saw an impressive ceremony at 
the Kimlark plant, at which time the Army-Navy “E” award was 
made. 

At war’s end, the Kimlark property was again revamped to house 
the corporation’s engineering department. At this writing, 640 engi- 
neers, draftsmen, tradesmen, and clerks either work there or work out 
from there in the far-flung properties of the corporation. 



sales center — A new kind of selling tool made its appearance on the 
Kimberly-Clark scene in 1951. The corporation had for many years 
been aware of the need to sell not only its products, but also to sell 
itself as a capable manufacturer to its widespread customers. With the 
post-war competition for markets, a refinement was felt necessary by 
the corporation; so in 1951, space was rented in a building owned by 
the Valley Construction Company located in the town of Menasha 
about miles north of the Lakeview Mill. Subsequently, the build- 
ing was purchased by the corporation. 

Through displays, through a variety of visual aids, dramatized 
presentations, and by means of a skilled staff, this unit was designed 
to bring the Kimberly-Clark story to distributors, customers and 
their salesmen. A completely equipped stage, also dining and lounge 
facilities, add to the pleasure and effectiveness of the Sales Center. 



3 i8 



A H I S T O R Y OF N E E N A H 



guest house — As Kimberly-Clark’s operations grew, the need of a 
facility to house certain business guests became obvious. In 1952, 
plans were prepared by the engineering department for such a build- 
ing to be located just north of the I.akeview Park on North Lake 
Street. Construction was started in the fall of that year. The building 
consists of two wings, containing 12 bedrooms. At the center is an 
area containing lobby lounge, dining room and kitchen. A small house 
was erected just north of the building to house the caretaker and his 
family. 

main office — Corporation growth was reflected in growing needs at 
the headquarters office location. It became apparent as a result of 
post-war expansion that the Main Office in downtown Neenah, after 
many additions and remodellings, had reached its final capacity. In 
December 1953, planning was started on a new office building. Con- 
struction began in the spring of 1955, on corporation property north of 
the Lakeview Mill on the shore of Little Lake Butte des Morts, and 
was completed in 1956. 

The steel, glass and concrete structure was occupied in September 
of that year, and provides space for about 800. The old office building 
was remodelled to serve as expanded quarters for research and related 
activities. 

forestry — Only brief mention can be made of the vast forest areas 
owned or controlled by this growing corporation, and the skilled forest 
management provided by more than 120 graduate foresters. Theirs is 
the responsibility for supervision of all cutting operations and of seeing 
to it that enough millions of young trees are planted annually to the 
end that there shall be a harvest of mature trees one hundred years 
hence to feed the corporation’s hungry pulp mills. 

Kimberly-Clark’s presidents — During the 84 years (1872-1956), 
but four Presidents have guided the affairs of the organization. Prior 
to 1880, the enterprise was a partnership. 

John A. Kimberly 1880-1928 Cola G. Parker 

Frank J. Sensenbrenner 1928-1942 John R. Kimberly 



1942-1953 

1953 - 



INDUSTRIAL 



3*9 



facts and figures- While it will be of interest to posterity to know 
something of the outreach of Kimberly-Clark since its origin in 1872, 
interest of local readers will center on the value of Kimberly-Clark to 
its local community. 

Sales: In 1927, International Cellucotton Products Company was 
established to market the products such as Kotex, Kleenex, etc. Dur- 
ing the latter half of 1955, the I.C.P. Company was integrated with 
Kimberly-Clark. 

In the summer of 1956, a transaction was completed by which Kim- 
berly-Clark purchased the assets of the Neenah Paper Company in an 
exchange of shares. 

Early in 1957, the corporation acquired the assets of Peter J. 
Schweitzer, Inc., a leading manufacturer of light-weight papers, with 
six plants in the eastern United States and an interest in a French 
plant. 

Announcement was made in summer, 1957, of an enterprise in West 
Germany, shared by Kimberly-Clark, Unilever N.V., and the Ger- 
man firm Aschaffenburger Zellstoffwerke A.G. Involved was a con- 
verting plant, initially designed to convert Kleenex products for 
Western Europe. 

The following figures represent the sales volume of both organiza- 
tions, Kimberly-Clark and I.C.P., and the years 1956-57 include 
Schweitzer and Neenah Paper Company: 



1928 


$ 25,391,790 


1953 


208,377,527 


1933 


18,625,778 


1954 


226,466, 125 


>938 


35,388,259 


1956 


282,167,742 


1943 

1948 


73.574,137 

141,745,632 


>9 57 


310 , 733,968 



employees: As of April 30, 1957, 4,279 people (Neenah Paper Com- 
pany included) were employed in local mills and offices. In this con- 
nection it may be noted that Kimberly-Clark was the pioneer among 
paper and pulp mills of the continent in safety promotion, and also 
led in the development of a well-rounded program of industrial rela- 
tions. 

T ay -Soils: The following figures cover Lakeview and Badger-Globe 
mills, Kimlark plant, Sales Center and Main Office: 



320 



A HISTORY 



OF NEENAH 



1930 


S 2,649,865 


1950 


12,824,159 


1936 


2,163,661 


1 95 1 


14 , 375,002 


194° 


3,883,766 


1952 


»5 , 007, 417 


1945 


7 , 305,504 


J 953 


16,012,590 


J 947 


12,252,945 


1954 


16,295,240 


1948 


1 2 , 697 , 600 


1955 


18,731 ,645 


1949 


12,504,717 


1956 


25 A 77,369 



Thus, within the span of three generations, Neenah has become the 
center of a world-wide industrial enterprise, and the end is not yet. 
Fortunate indeed is Neenah and its environs to have in their midst 
this source of social and economic strength. 

And let posterity remember the humble beginnings on the banks of 
the Fox River, when four young men pooled their savings in the year 
1872, and entered upon what some of their contemporaries thought 
was a wild venture. 



The Manhattan \ubber Manufacturing Company 

The Manhattan Rubber Manufacturing Company, Neenah, a sub- 
sidiary of Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc., Passaic, New Jersey, started 
its first operation in the Flewitt Machine Company building, October 
h 1932 . 

The officers of the company at that time were: President, A. F. 
Townsend; Vice President, J. H. Merrill; Secretary, Harry Snyder, 
and Treasurer, W. H. Dunn. 

A. A. Campbell was sent here from Passaic, New Jersey, as Mana- 
ger, and the purpose of this plant was to serve the paper industry in 
the midwest. The principal operation was the rubber covering of rolls 
used in the manufacture of paper. In 1953 it was necessary to build a 
new building, now located on Matthews and Cecil Streets, in Neenah. 
This new building is of the latest design, and the new equipment is 
capable of handling the largest paper mill rolls in the country. 

The company has expanded facilities to include all rubber and metal 
grinding, also tank, pipe and valve lining. This expansion increased 
the labor force to approximately fifty people. 

The present officers of the company are President, John F. D. 
Rohrbach; Executive Vice President, J. H. Matthews; Treasurer and 



INDUSTRIAL 



3 21 



Comptroller, \V. Ward Kievit; Resident Manager, A. A. Campbell, 
and Riant Superintendent, A. F. Kuehn, Jr. 

Marathon Corporation 

February d, /pop — -Marathon Paper Mills Company incorporated 
under laws of the state of Wisconsin at Wausau. Neal Brown, Wausau 
lawyer, was the spark behind the organization. Original officers were 
Cyrus C. Yawkey, President; Charles J. Winton, Vice President; 
B. F. Wilson, Secretary; Walter Alexander, Treasurer; and Neal 
Brown, counsel for the company. 

March /, /pop — David Clark Everest became the company’s first 
General Manager. 

June , /pop — Construction of original Marathon plant began at 
Rothschild. 

igi 6 — Marathon Paper Mills Company supplied the Menasha Car- 
ton Company with bleached lined board for butter cartons and, later, 
papers for waxing purposes, thereby becoming associated with a com- 
pany active in food packaging manufacture. 

/p/7 — Important to Marathon’s future was the merger of the Me- 
nasha Printing Company and the Menasha Carton Company into the 
Menasha Printing and Carton Company, a firm that eventually be- 
came part of Marathon. The Menasha Printing Company had been 
founded by Sam Clinedinst, former newspaperman, in 1900, and in- 
corporated in 1904. George S. Gaylord, formerly with a Chicago bro- 
kerage firm, converted an old shingle mill and organized the Menasha 
Carton Company in 1912. 

/p/p — Menasha Printing and Carton Company installed engraving, 
electrotype, ink and art departments. It also bought a paper pail 
manufacturing plant at Wausau. 

ih(pvember /, ig 2 j — Marathon Paper Mills Company purchased the 
Menasha Printing and Carton Company and its plants at Menasha, 
Wausau and Ashland. George S. Gaylord was named to Marathon’s 
Board of Directors. With acquisition of Menasha Printing and Carton 
Company, Marathon acquired plants, equipment for food package 
production and an experienced distribution organization to market 



322 



A HISTORY OF NF,F,NAH 



production. For sales purposes, the company formed a division known 
as the Menasha Products Company. 

1928 — A steam power building and wax refinery building were 
added at Menasha. 

1929 — An addition was made to the waxed paper plant and refinery 
building at Menasha. Construction also was underway on a new build- 
ing to house carton manufacturing machinery and provide storage 
space for raw materials and finished products. 

1930 — A new brick and concrete carton plant was completed. It was 
used as a manufacturing unit and for storage of raw materials and 
finished products. 

1934 — Additional equipment was installed in the waxed paper 
plant at Menasha. 

1937 — Land was acquired in Menasha for manufacturing and stor- 
age buildings. 

‘December 19 , 1938 — D. C. Everest, Vice President and General 
Manager, succeeded C. C. Yawkey as President of Marathon Paper 
Mills Company. 

1940 — The Menasha office building, destined to become the main 
office, was completed on River Street. A carton factory addition was 
also completed. 

July, 1941 — Marathon purchased the assets of Whitmore Machine 
and Foundry Company, Menasha. This plant is Marathon’s machine 
division on River Street. 

July 6, 1944 — Marathon Articles of Incorporation were amended to 
effect a new title — Marathon Corporation. 

1945 — Marathon Service Company was organized in Menasha as a 
subsidiary of Marathon Corporation for the purpose of leasing, sub- 
leasing and servicing various equipment for use in connection with 
products of Marathon Corporation. In this year, also, Marathon ac- 
quired the Appleton Engraving Company at Neenah. 

c 'April, 1947 — The present Menasha carton plant on Washington at 
Garfield was completed. Prior to its completion, carton production 
was carried on at the present Parafilm plant on River Street on the 
first floor. The carton plant produces printed and plain paperboard 
packages and packaging materials for the bakery, dairy, frozen food, 
meat and vegetable oil industries. 



N D U S TRIAL 



3 2 3 



October , J94J — Marathon acquired the Menasha Printing Ink Com- 
pany and dissolved it as a subsidiary. It occupied what is now Mara- 
thon’s sample room on River Street. 

Mpril, 1949 — A new printing ink manufacturing plant was placed 
in operation at Menasha on Milwaukee Street. Built of reinforced con- 
crete, steel and brick, the plant is a one-story structure and provides 
about 28,000 square feet of floor space, including laboratory and man- 
ufacturing areas. It produces inks for the company’s printing opera- 
tions. 

March 13 , 1951 — Marathon purchased a guest house in Neenah for 
the convenience of guests and company personnel. 

Mpril 29 , 1952 — John Stevens, Jr., was elected President and Gen- 
eral Manager of Marathon Corporation to succeed D. C. Everest, who 
resigned this date. Everest had served as President continuously, ex- 
cept for an interruption from April 6, 1950, to July 31, 1951, when 
William L. Keady was President. 

September /, 1952 — At Neenah, Marathon acquired the Jersild 
Knitting Company building, 331 N. Commercial Street, on a 15-year 
lease. Contract was between Marathon and the Island Realty Com- 
pany, owner of the building. Marathon’s photo and roto engraving 
operations had been housed on two floors of the building since pur- 
chase of the Appleton Engraving Company in 1945. 

October 2 , 1952 — Marathon acquired ten acres of property in Nee- 
nah for construction of a proposed graphic arts building to house 
electrotype and engraving departments. Property fronted on Western 
Avenue and was located north of Main and west of Lake Streets. 

October 28, J952 — Board of Directors approved appropriations for 
construction of a new Graphic Arts Building at Neenah. Construction 
was planned to begin in the very near future. 

June 20 , 1953 — Announcement was made by C. E. Cass, Neenah, 
that he had purchased Marathon Corporation’s electrotype equip- 
ment and facilities. He also announced formation of the Neenah Elec- 
trotype Corporation, of which he became President and Treasurer. 
Neenah Electrotype Corporation was to occupy a section of Mara- 
thon’s new Graphic Arts building at Neenah when completed. 

January , 1954 — New Graphic Arts plant on Western Avenue in 
Neenah was completed. It became the home for photoengraving and 



3 2 4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



rotogravure operations. It is a one-story structure of concrete, brick, 
steel and glass construction, with 43,000 sq. ft. of working area. 

fJlpril 1 , 1954 — Remodeling of the former Jersild Knitting Mill 
building at Neenah was completed. The four story structure and an- 
nex became the Central Manufacturing Staff building. These new 
quarters also permitted the personnel division to move into the Eng- 
lish-styled building at Menasha on Washington at Garfield, which had 
formerly housed art and purchasing departments. In general the 
Main Office building on River St., Menasha, now housed executive 




Flexible packaging plant of Marathon Corporation, south of Cecil Street, which came into production 
during 1956, John Fitzpatrick, Manager. 



and marketing division offices and the northeast wing of the carton 
plant building housed finance and accounting functions. 

October 7, 1954 — Plans to construct a new label and specialty plant 
in Neenah were announced. The Neenah city council gave approval 
to Marathon to purchase city property located on the south side of 
Cecil Street and adjacent to the Chicago & Northwestern Railway 
main line, near the southwestern city limits. 

December 28, 1954 — John Stevens, Jr., announced that Marathon 
employment was 9,232 in the United States and Canada. 

zApril) 1955 — Construction began on the Neenah label and specialty 
plant. 

October 28, 1955 — D. C. Everest, 72, first general manager of Mara- 




INDUSTRIAL 



J -5 

thon and former president, died at Wausau, Wis. He was chairman of 
Marathon Corporation’s board of directors at time of death. 

T)ecember JJ, K)S 5 — Corporate wide employment for the year was 
reported at an all-time high of 9,660. 

January, 1956 — Newly constructed Neenah Plant, Byrd Avenue 
at Cecil Street, began limited production. 

January 25, 1956 — John Stevens was named chairman of Marathon 
Corporation’s board of directors, succeeding the late D. C. Everest. 
Stevens retained his position as president of Marathon Corporation 
and board chairman of Marathon Corporation of Canada Limited, 
but was succeeded as president of the Canadian subsidiary by Roy J. 
Sund, Neenah. 

zApril 26, 1956 — Plans for construction of a new corporate office 
building in the southwest section of Neenah were announced. 

September 20, 1956 — Ground was broken for construction of the 
Neenah office building. It was designed by Perkins & Will, Chicago 
industrial architects and engineers. Location was the southern extrem- 
ity of Byrd Avenue in southwest Neenah. 

November jo, 1956 — Record sales of $152,886,403 for the 1956 fiscal 
year were reported by John Stevens. Previous high was $135,107,686 
in 1955. Employment for the year reached a new high, 10,522. 

June 2j, 19JJ — Frank J. Dvorak, 59, treasurer and member of the 
board of directors, died at his Neenah home. 

October 1 j, 19JJ — American Can Company board of directors ap- 
proved a proposal to pool interests with Marathon Corporation. 

October ij, 19J7 — Marathon Corporation board of directors ap- 
proved terms of an agreement to join with American Can Company. 

December j, 1957 — Stockholders of American Can Company, meet- 
ing at New York, and stockholders of Marathon Corporation, meet- 
ing at Rothschild, voted to approve merger of the two companies. As 
of this date, Marathon became a Division of American Can Company. 

Four members of Marathon’s board of directors were elected direc- 
tors of Canco: John Stevens, Menasha; Roy J. Sund, Neenah; W. E. 
Buchanan, Appleton; and Lester Armour, Chicago. 

T)ecember to, 195J — William C. Stolk, president of American Can 
Company, announced the following: 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



26 



Elected Vice President of American Can Company- John Stevens 
Appointed Vice President & General Manager of the Marathon Division of 
American Can Company — Roy J. Sund 

Roy Sund also designated the following appointments for Marathon 
Division: 

Vice President — Leo E. Croy 

Vice President, Food Packaging Division- Donald A. Snyder 

Vice President, Northern Products Division — -Milan Boex 

Vice President, Pulp & Paper Division — Russell C. Flom 

Vice President, Specialty Packaging Division — Palmer B. McConnell 

Vice President, Finance Division— Emmett W. Below 

Vice President, Industrial Relations Division — Carl R. Geisler 

Director, Administrative Services Division — Doug G. Hyde 

Director, Manufacturing Services Division — E. E. Den Dooven 

Director, Research & Development- Ross C. Wilcox 

General Attorney — Edwin N. West 

All except Boex are assigned to Marathon Division headquarters at 
Menasha. Boex remains at Green Bay. 



Menasha Wooden Ware Corporation 

Actually the inception of the Menasha Wooden Ware Company was 
in 1849, when Messrs. Beckwith, Sanford and Billings started a small 
plant, the total investment not exceeding $1,000. These three men did 
all the work from cutting up the logs into staves to completing the 
tub or pail, and only the local trade was furnished with its products. 
After a year the factory was sold to Keyes, Wolcott & Rice, in the 
transaction of which a mortgage was given for $200 drawing interest 
at the rate of 50% per annum, which was the rate charged in those 
early days. At that time the factory had only one lathe for making 
pails. In 1852 Elisha D. Smith purchased, for about $1,200, the plant 
which eventually became the present Menasha Wooden Ware Com- 
pany. 

In subsequent years he hoed a very rugged row, his business being 
severely crippled by the panic of 1857 and somewhat later by the dif- 
ficulties brought on by the Civil War. His factory was burned and 



INDUSTRIAL 



3 ' 2 ? 

had to he rebuilt. As a result of these various vicissitudes, Elisha 
had to make an assignment and, as a result of that, the Menasha 
Wooden Ware Company was formulated as such, the year May 24, 
1875, when a meeting was held at the residence of Elisha Smith, at 
which time Spencer Mowry, Henry Hewitt, Jr., Julia A. Smith, Henry 
Hewitt, Sr., Alexander Symes, Bertram Ramsey and F. R. MacKin- 
non became the stockholders. The stock was $50,000, consisting of 
500 shares at $100 each. At that time Elisha Smith was employed by 
the company at a salary of $1,200.00 a year. 

As a flashback on conditions in the days when Elisha Smith came to 
Menasha in 1849, it might be of some interest to hear, in Elisha’s own 
words, about his trip from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, to Menasha: 

“We traveled on what is now the New York Central Railway from Albany to 
Buffalo, then made up of five different railroads, requiring a change of cars, tickets, 
baggage, etc. in connection with each. There was no railroad west out of Buffalo. 
We took the Michigan Central which was laid in part with strap rails to New Buf- 
falo, on Lake Michigan. There we took a small steamer to Chicago, a city of 18,000 
population, without paved streets, with signs here and there, “no bottom,” to 
warn the traveler of danger. Only one railroad of forty miles out of the city to Elgin; 
a great contrast between then and now. 

“From thence we went by steamer to Milwaukee, a town of 2,000 population 
and no railroad, indeed not any in the state, and so on up to Sheboygan where we 
landed and took a stage for Fond du Lac. The first day we made but twenty-four 
miles through deep mud, dodging stumps as best we could, till after dark, when we 
reached the Forest House. Here we had our first experience lodging in a log house. 

“Early the next morning we started for Fond du Lac, but arrived too late for the 
Peytona bound for the foot of the lake. However, in the afternoon we took the 
Manchester and reached Oshkosh at night. The next day we took the Peytona for 
Menasha, but by reason of a quarrel between the captain and Curtis Reed, the 
founder of Menasha, we could not land there. Our steamer came to anchor just off 
the old council tree at the head of the Island where a sailboat took us and our bag- 
gage to the Burroughs wharf. Here we landed. Not a person in sight, and we made 
our way as best we could through the mud to our hotel. ” 



At a Directors’ meeting on September 23, 1878, Charles R. Smith, 
son of Elisha D., was elected Secretary, and in 1880 the following 
Directors were elected: Henry Hewitt, Sr., Henry Hewitt, Jr., E. D. 
Smith, H. S. Smith and C. R. Smith. On May 23, 1 881, Henry Hewitt, 
Sr., retired as President, and E. D. Smith was elected in his place, 
C. R. Smith becoming Treasurer and H. S. Smith, Secretary. 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



328 

In 1886, at a meeting of the directors, a large piece of land south of 
the river and comprising approximately 85 acres was purchased. This 
is the property which extends from the Gilbert Paper mill clear 
through the Washington Street bridge to the Northwestern railroad 
tracks, now largely occupied by the Marathon Corporation. This 
property was used by the Wooden Ware as stave drying yards and 
lumber drying space. In addition to this property, sometime thereafter 
the north side of the water frontage on the river in Menasha was pur- 
chased and this extended from a point west of the present Menasha 
waterworks clear out to Lake Winnebago, and on this property many 
millions of feet of logs were stored annually. 

Elisha Smith died in 1899 and his son, Charles R. Smith, succeeded 
him as President of the Menasha Wooden Ware Company. A very 
definite period of expansion followed the action of the Board in elect- 
ing Charles Smith, and this expansion extended in a twofold direction. 
The manufacturing plant itself became known as the largest wooden 
ware factory in the world, and acquisitions of standing timber, or 
stumpage, as it is usually known, extended through Wisconsin, Michi- 
gan, Minnesota, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. 

One of the facets of this expansion was the purchase of a consider- 
able tract of timber in Rusk, Sawyer and Price Counties in Wisconsin 
and the erection of a sawmill and stave mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, 
on the Flambeau River, the timber being floated down this river 
directly to the mill. It is an interesting sidelight that just about this 
time Mr. Smith married for the second time, after the early death of 
his first wife, and named the little town that he established “Lady- 
smith,” in honor of his new bride. 

Between the death of Charles Smith in 1916 and the election of 
Mowry Smith and Carlton Smith to the presidencies respectively, of 
the Corporation and the Company, there were three interim top exec- 
utives, namely Thomas M. Kearney, F. D. Lake and W. H. Miner. 
At the death of Mr. Miner, Carlton Smith was elected President of 
the Company and Mowry Smith of the Corporation, which was in 
1936. 

This era marked a revolutionary change in the packaging habits of 
all shippers of food products, which up to approximately 1920 had 



INDUSTRIAL 



32 9 



been almost exclusively in the nature of bulk containers, and could 
be typified as the cracker barrel era. It was, therefore, not long before 
this younger generation saw the handwriting on the wall as advertised 
brands began to take hold, which required, of course, individual pack- 
aging to show the name of the advertiser. This may be an oversim- 
plification, but the transition was swift and deadly as far as the bulk 
container was concerned, so that in 1921 a plant which had been 
employing 1,000 workers to turn out bulk containers was shut down 
completely and sat idle for six months. By dint of a show of consider- 
able energy and some imagination the gap was filled for the time being 
by the development of a new type of butter tub, which up to that time 
the Menasha Wooden Ware Company had not manufactured. For 
several years the plant was busy producing butter tubs in large quan- 
tities, but realizing that the era of bulk packaging was at an end, or 
near it, the new management decided to enter the manufacture of 
corrugated boxes, which is now, along with the plywood business, the 
main activity of the corporation. 

As to the number of employees, while the operations and activities 
of the Corporation have expanded materially, the actual number of 
employees is less today than it was in 1921, at which time the Corpo- 
ration employed in the neighborhood of 1,000 people, whereas the 
various properties now owned and operated total as follows: 



In this connection, however, it might be an interesting commentary 
on the progress made technologically in the number of containers pro- 
duced in Menasha in the wooden pail days by 1,000 employees, as 
compared to the number of containers of approximately the same 
size, produced today by 185 employees. At the peak of our production 
around 1916 we turned out approximately 17,000 thirty pound con- 
tainers a day, while today, reducing the containers to approximately 
the same capacity, 185 employees are turning out 167,000, or 902 cor- 



Otsego Falls Paper Mills 1 10 

Menasha Plywood Corp. 350 

Menasha Wood Flour Co. 16 

Menasha Container Corp. of Calif. 100 



35 ° 

16 



1 10 



Rockford, 111 . 
Menasha 




.130 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



rugated boxes per man, to 170 pails per man of the same cubic capac- 
ity. Jn fact, on a record day of production recently, 286,000 con- 
tainers were turned out, or approximately 1,550 boxes per man, a 
good, practical demonstration of so-called automation. 

To bring this report to a close, it might be interesting to remember 
that while the corporation operates plants in Oregon, Washington, 
California and Illinois, the main office and the present corrugated box 
plant is still located in Menasha on the identical spot where Elisha D. 
Smith’s predecessors turned the first wheel in 1849. 

Submitted by Donald C. Shepard 






SHeenah electrotype Corporation 

The Neenah Electrotype Corporation was organized and opened tem- 
porary offices in a building of the Durham Lumber Company on 
August 1, 1953. At that time the company purchased the machinery 
and equipment of the Marathon Corporation’s privately operated 
electrotype plant. The original shop was founded around 1910 by the 
Menasha Printing Company. This later became the Menasha Print- 
ing and Carton Company and, subsequently, Marathon Corporation. 
On August 15, 1953, the Neenah Electrotype Corporation took pos- 
session of the Marathon electrotype facilities and employed the jour- 
neymen and apprentice electrotypers who were at that time on Mara- 
thon’s pay roll. Some of these men had been employed in the shop for 
as long as 40 years. 

The officers of the Corporation at the time of organization were 
C. E. Cass, President and Treasurer; R. E. Cass, Vice President; and 
Arthur P. Remley, Secretary. The total employment at that time 
consisted of 54 employees exclusive of the officers. The pay roll in 1955 
consisted of 73 employees exclusive of the officers. During the month 
of September 1953, the Company removed its operations from the 
Marathon location on the second floor of the Parafilm Plant to quar- 
ters in the new Marathon Graphic Arts Building on Western Avenue. 
The company occupies approximately a third of the building’s area 



I N 1) U S T R I A L 



33 1 

which is leased from Marathon Corporation. Neenah Klectrotype 
Corporation specializes in the production of curved printing plates 
which are used almost exclusively in the printing of food packages 
and wrappers. 



Neencih Foundry Company 

The Neenah Foundry Company was founded in the year 1872 by 
William Aylward, Sr., under the name of The Aylward Plow Works, 
to manufacture a general line of iron castings and specializing in 
producing plows, kettles and wood burning stoves. 

In these early days, iron was melted in a cupola similar in principle 
to present melting furnaces, except coal was used for fuel instead of 
coke. Air was provided by a large bellows powered by a horse walking 
in a circle on a windlass. Once each year William Aylward went to 
the docks at Green Bay with an ox cart to buy Swedish pig iron, 
believing good iron would not be produced without using this virgin 
metal. 

During the period 1885 to 1890, three sons, William, Edward and 
John, entered the organization. After the death of William Aylward, 
Sr., in 1907, the name of the company was changed to The Aylward 
Sons Company. 

In 1918 the firm name was changed to the Neenah Foundry Com- 
pany, and the operation moved to its present site on W. Winneconne 
Ave. E. J. Aylward was made President in 1919. The company has 
continued to grow and is now recognized as a leader in the gray iron 
industry. It is one of the most modern mechanized foundries in the 
country, producing quality gray iron and alloy castings for many in- 
dustrial accounts in the Middle West. The company is particularly 
noted as being the largest producer of construction castings in the 
nation. This is a cataloged line of over 15,000 items specified and used 
by leading engineers and architects on all types of construction 
products throughout the United States. Production capacity exceeds 
250 tons daily, with employment of over 600 people. 



A HISTORY OF NEF, NAH 



Officers 

E. J. Aylward, President E. \V. Aylward, Secretary 

E. B. Aylward, Vice President R. J. Aylward, Ass’t Secretary 

J. P. Keating, Vice President I). E. Johnson, Treasurer 

D. P. Cobb, Vice President 



A [eenah Taper Company 

The Neenah Paper Company began as the Neenah Mill of the Patten 
Paper Company, of Appleton, as recorded in Cunningham’s history, 
making three tons of paper per day. A. W. Patten was its first General 
Manager, with Frank Russell as Superintendent. In the spring of 1885 
a new corporation was chartered, and the Neenah Paper Company 
came into being. A. W. Patten was its President, F. T. Russell, Vice 
President, John McNaughton, Secretary-Treasurer. The new cor- 
poration, capitalized at $75,000, took over the property of the Neenah 
Mill. Two years later A. W. Patten sold his interests to Henry Sherry. 
McNaughton and Thomas Patten sold theirs to S. A. Cook. Russell 
remained as Vice President, with Sherry, President, and Cook as 
Secretary-T reasurer. 

In 1891 Sherry sold his interests to Cook. Members of the Kimberly 
family bought a controlling interest in 1893. J. A. Kimberly and his 
son, J. A. Kimberly, Jr., took over the management. Five years later 
J. C. Kimberly also became associated with the enterprise. In 1916 
W.Z. Stuart, a son-in-law of J. A. Kimberly, became General Manager, 
with D. K. Brown as his assistant. When, in 1921, Mr. Stuart died, 
Mr. Brown was made Manager, with Kimberly Stuart as his assistant. 
Seven years later, in 1928, Mr. J. C. Kimberly took over the presi- 
dency upon his father’s death. At this time Mr. Brown was named 
first Vice President; Kimberly Stuart second Vice President and 
Secretary; L. O. Schubart, Treasurer. In 1940, upon the retirement 
of J. C. Kimberly, D. K. Brown was elected President, Kimberly 
Stuart, Vice President, and L. O. Schubart, Secretary-Treasurer. 
Again, in 1953 there occurred transition when Mr. Brown, upon reach- 
ing age 65, retired and L. O. Schubart became President, Dan A. 
Hardt, Vice President, and Don H. Severson, Secretary-Treasurer. 



N 1) U S T RIAL 



333 



Across the years, the company became known throughout the trade 
as a maker of mill watermarked papers and one of the few which 
makes rag or cotton content papers, or tine papers from a blend of 
such cotton fiber and the finest grades of bleached wood pulp. 

As of June, 1956, the company employs approximately 340 people, 
with an annual pay roll of $1,500,000. 

A final chapter was written in 1956, when Neenah Paper Company 
became a division of Kimberly-Clark Corporation through exchange 
of Kimberly-Clark stock for the assets and business of Neenah Paper 
Company. 



School Stationers (Corporation 

The School Stationers Corporation of Neenah was founded in 1921 
as an Illinois corporation with Ernest E. Crook as major stockholder 
and Harry F. Williams and Robert C. Brown of Neenah holding the 
minority stock. 

The company originally started operations in what was known as 
the stone mill of Kimberly-Clark, and from there it moved down to 
the Neenah Mill, where operations continued for about one year. 

The Company then moved to the Rosenthal building in Menasha 
and continued there until 1931. In that year Williams and Brown 
acquired the stock of Mr. Crook and held it on an equal basis for 
some years. Mr. Brown sold his holdings to Mr. Williams and moved 
to Milwaukee, and the business has since been conducted by Mr. 
Williams. 

In 1931 a new building was built adjoining the Neenah-Menasha 
C&NW station and the machinery transferred and new equipment 
added. In 1936 patronage had grown to such an extent that an en- 
largement was necessary. In 1939 another addition was made and all 
converting operations are carried on in this unit. In 1952, a large 
warehouse, located between Forest Avenue and Commercial Street, 
was built to house the raw materials and finished products. 

The Company originally started with three employees and in 1955 
employed about 50. About 40,000 pounds of miscellaneous paper are 



334 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



converted per day and are distributed nationally through recognized 
school supply distributors. Ninety per cent of the products converted, 
such as construction paper, ruled theme papers, pads, loose leaf 
fillers, mimeograph papers, drawing papers, are sold with the school 
as the ultimate destination. During the war the plant operated on 
three shifts and put out many millions of ruled pads for governmental, 
Army and Navy use. The trade name is “Royale” and the slogan, 
“Standard of the Nation.” 

Harry F. Williams is President; Plant Manager and Vice President 
is Howard Stacker, and L. M. Williams is Secretary. 



John Strange (Jar ton (Jompany 

This company was incorporated in 1915 as John Strange Pail Com- 
pany. The product manufactured for many years was Fibre Board 
Pails for the shipment of bulk products. Principal users were manu- 
facturers of candy, stock foods, peanuts, bulk pepper and other dry 
products. 

With the change in marketing methods, the sale of bulk products 
dropped off radically, and the John Strange Pail Company went into 
the manufacture of folding cartons. In the year 1953 the company 
name was changed to John Strange Carton Company, as being more 
representative of its products. 

Officers of the company are: Paul Strange, President; Paul Strange, 
Jr., Treasurer and General Manager; William Strange, Secretary and 
Sales Manager. 



John Strange Taper (Jompany 

John Strange Paper Company originated as a pail and tub factory 
founded by John Strange in 1881. It was incorporated in 1891. In 
1888 a two-cylinder paper machine was installed with a capacity of 
about 10 tons per day. An 82" Fourdrinier machine was installed in 
1892 for the manufacture of Manila paper, strong wrapping paper, 
and newsprint, with a daily production of 7 tons. In 1907 the company 



INDUSTRIAL 



335 



started the manufacture of Kraft wrapping paper and was one of the 
first to manufacture that grade in the United States. The original two- 
cylinder paper machine was replaced with a 108" cylinder machine in 
1907, which had a capacity of 30 tons daily. In 1917 a third machine 
was installed with a capacity of 65 tons per day. This was the widest 
cylinder paper machine built as of that date, the dryer width being 
144". At the end of World War I the total productive capacity of the 
company was 1 10 tons per day. 

Ownership of the company remained in the family of John Strange 
until July 9, 1945, when the plant and properties were sold to a group 
of converters. Mr. John Strange managed the company until his death 
on May 28, 1923, and was succeeded as General Manager by his son, 
Hugh Strange, who carried on until his death on July 15, 1945. 

Additions of property and equipment and renovations on paper 
machines and auxiliaries increased the productive capacity of the mill 
from 1 10 tons per day in 1919 to 200 tons per day at the end of World 
War II. At the close of 1955, productive capacity was increased to 
over 250 tons per day. 

The company manufactures test liners, container chips, folding and 
set-up boxboards, special mill wrappers, light weight chipboards, con- 
struction paper and board specialties. 

The Board of Directors includes: Joseph L. Gidwitz, Harrison 
Smith, Mowry Smith, Arthur Schmidt, Don Verhulst, George Kress 
and J. M. Levin. 

Officers are: Chin, of Board, J. L. Gidwitz; President, H. J. Levan- 
doski; Vice President, J. M. Levin; Secretary, Elmer Deprez; Treas- 
urer, L. A. Blume. 



Valley Tress , Inc. 

The Valley Press was established in 1926 by Frank Leisen and was 
located on Wisconsin Avenue in Neenah. Five years later, operations 
were moved to larger quarters on Nicolet Boulevard. In 1937, the 
Valley Press moved into its own building on Chapman Avenue. 

Since that time, there have been four additions made to the plant 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



336 

due to the steady growth of business. In 1950 the Valley Press was 
incorporated with the following officers: Frank Leisen, President; 
Harry Warren, Vice President; Harvey Dauffenbach, Secretary- 
Treasurer. 

The Company produces printing by letterpress, rotary, sheet and 
roll, rotogravure and offset lithography. 

Cjeorge^A. Whiting Taper Company 

The George A. Whiting Paper Company mill at Menasha was built 
on the site of an abandoned dry dock located on west end of the 
Government Canal in 1882 by George A. Whiting I and the Gilbert 
Brothers — Theodore and William. The Company was known as 
Gilbert and Whiting until 1886, when Mr. Whiting bought the Gilbert 
interest. It was equipped with one small 76" trim, Fourdrinier paper 
machine and other machinery necessary for the manufacture of rag- 
content paper. 

On August 24, 1888, a serious fire ravaged the mill and, when the 
firemen turned a stream of cold water on a hot steel bleaching drum, 
a disastrous explosion occurred, killing 16 spectators and firemen. 
The mill was rebuilt by Mr. Whiting, and the same paper machine, 
with some improvements, is still in operation. About 1910 the mill 
discontinued the manufacture of rag-content paper and switched to 
the making of high grade chemical pulp specialty papers. 

The business was conducted under the name of “George A. Whiting 
— Paper Mills” from 1886 until April, 1911, when Mr. Frank B. 
Whiting became associated in the business with his foster father, ft 
was incorporated at that time, and it has been known as the George A. 
Whiting Paper Co. ever since. 

George A. Whiting I died in June, 1930, when Mr. Frank B. Whiting 
succeeded to the presidency. Soon after Mr. Frank Whiting’s death 
in March, 1952, his only son, George A. Whiting II, took over the 
reins as president. 

Our small mill is able to make changes in grades, etc., faster, and 
easier than the large tonnage mills, rendering quicker service; and it 



INDUSTRIAL 



337 



is this flexibility that has helped us to establish an enviable national 
reputation for quick service, plus good quality. 

The company has 7 5 employees, including officers and office per- 
sonnel. 

Present (1955) officers of the company are: 

George A. Whiting II -President & Treasurer (Director) 

R. M. Sensenbrenner — Vice President and Manager (Director) 

P. J. Gazecki -Secretary (Director) 

Thomas Leech — Vice President & Director 
Thomas A. Moore — Director 



Wisconsin Tissue Mills 
Date of origin — June 20, 1915. 

Key Personnel: T. E. McGillan, George Drysdale, Joseph Fieweger, 
A. W. Asmuth, Sr., and Joseph P. Zelinske. 

Originally organized as Peerless Paper Products Company as a 
converter of sanitary paper products. Located on Manitowoc Street, 
Menasha, at present site of Central Paper Company. 

1919 — Company moved to new site on Little Lake Butte des Morts 
in Menasha and erected a cylinder paper machine to provide 
a source of paper for its converting operations. 

1922 — Paper machine production and converting facilities mate- 
rially increased. 

1929 — Company changed its name to Wisconsin Tissue Mills — 
with A. W. Asmuth as President, Ray Fieweger as Treas- 
urer, and D. H. Greene as General Manager. 

1937 — Company purchased the napkin converting business of 
Diana Manufacturing Company of Green Bay and moved 
its equipment from Green Bay to Menasha. 

Tresent — The company is one of the largest exclusive manufacturers 
of paper napkins in the country. If manufactures plain, 
printed and colored semi-crepe napkins of practically every 
type as well as facial wet strength napkins, tray covers and 
table covers. 



338 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Present officers are: A. W. Asmuth, President; Roy C. Rhyner, Vice 
President and Sales Manager; James E. Asmuth, Treasurer and Gen- 
eral Manager; A. Wm. Asmuth, Jr., Secretary; Arden Anderson, 
Plant Engineer; Joseph Kryszak, Paper Mill Superintendent; Joseph 
P. Zelinske, Converting Plant Superintendent; Loren Demand, 
Traffic Manager. 

Presently has approximately 160 employees with an annual pay 
roll in excess of $500,000. 

The replacement of its two original converting and storage 
buildings is rapidly nearing completion and a complete rebuilding of 
its paper machine, including a new press part, drives and additional 
dryers will substantially complete an extensive expansion program 
started two years ago. 




Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint. 

Daniel Webster 



JOURNALISM 

Neenah, despite limitations imposed by geographical location, has in 
the last three quarters of a century been served by newspapers which 
kept pace with developments in the publishing industry. From the 
days of hand-set type and hand-fed presses to the current era of 
highly mechanized production, men who devoted their talents to local 
Journalism possessed, their accomplishments show, vision of the 
future. 

Outstanding among Neenah’s editors and publishers in the period 
from the early 1880’s to the present were L. H. Kimball, J. N. Stone 
and J. R. Bloom, all deceased. 

The Island Qity Times , successor to the Conservator , first newspaper 
published in this city, was founded as a weekly by Stone in October, 
1863. The paper continued as a weekly until 1882, when it was 
changed to a daily. 

Bloom entered the local publishing field in 1901, when he and others 
purchased the A [eenah Daily IHews from the late L. H. Kimball, who 
served as Postmaster of Neenah for a number of years prior to his 
death in 1913. Kimball, incidentally, was proprietor of the first news 
depot operated in Neenah in early days. 

Politically, the rival papers were opposed, Stone in his editorial 
writings clinging to Democratic principles, and Kimball, followed by 
Bloom, as ardently expounding the Republican cause. 

Stone was a native of Rochester, New York, born there March 4, 
1835. He passed his boyhood there, and when not attending school, 
spent much of his time in newspaper offices. At the age of 14, he went 
to Buffalo where he served a three-year apprenticeship in the printer’s 
trade, at the close of which he went to Detroit, Michigan, where he 
worked as a compositor. 

In the fall of 1856 he went to Romeo, Michigan, where he founded 
t\\tzArgus , a weekly, which he published for one year. He then moved 
to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he became one of the editors and 
publishers of the Weekly Tribune. In the following year he went to 



339 



34 ° 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Gravesville, Calumet County, where he served as editor of the 'lie- 
publican^ also a weekly, until 1861. 

On April 3, 1861, Stone enlisted in Company K, Fourth Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry, serving in that unit of the Union Forces in the 
Civil War as a private, until the last day of that year when he was 
commissioned captain of CompanyG, Nineteenth Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry. He served in that capacity until August, 1863, when, owing 
to impaired health, he was honorably discharged at Suffolk, Virginia. 

Returning to Wisconsin, he took up residence in Neenah and 
founded The Neenah Times , a weekly. In 188 2 the paper became both 
a weekly and daily. Stone published The Times continuously (with 
the exception of four years — 1871 to 1875 — when he produced The 
^Appleton Times) up to shortly before the time of his death, June 30, 
1919. During much of his later journalistic career, Stone was assisted 
by his son, the late H. A. Stone. 

In October of 1918 ownership of The Times was transferred to 
Stone’s grandson, John Studley, then city editor of the paper. Studley 
and E. A. Fuechsel, proprietor of the Neenah Printing Company, 
formed a partnership under the name of Times Publishing Company, 
publishing The Times and conducting a commercial printing business. 
The partnership was dissolved on May 16, 1919, just prior to merger 
of The Times and Neenah T)ai/v Ncivs. 

The paper, thereafter, appeared as The Daily News-Times , and 
was owned by the News Publishing Company, which also operated a 
commercial printing branch. It later left the commercial printing field 
to permit of concentration on the newspaper. 

Merger of The Times and The News occurred about two years fol- 
lowing the death of J. R. Bloom, March 5, 1917. Bloom was born in 
Scranton, Pennsylvania, July 26, 1851. At the age of nine he went 
with his parents to Ripon, Wisconsin, commencing at the age of 17 
to learn the trade of printer in the office of George (later Governor) 
Peck at Ripon, with whose family Bloom made his home. He later 
worked in various printing offices at Ripon until completing his 
apprenticeship. 

In 1874 Bloom joined Peck in establishment of Deck's Sun , at 
TaCrosse. When Peck moved the paper to Milwaukee, Bloom took 



JOURNALIS M 



34 1 



the job plant and office as his share in the concern, conducting that 
business for two years, when he sold out and returned to Ripon. He 
then formed a partnership with the late T. D. Stone in publication of 
The Free Tress , but at the end of six months sold his interest to Stone. 

Bloom continued to follow the printer’s trade until 1885, when he 
became city editor of the Fond du j^ac Tally Commonwealth. He 
served five years in that capacity, resigning to fill the secretaryship 
of the Y.M.C.A. at Indianapolis, Indiana. Returning after a year and 
nine months to Fond du Lac, he purchased the plant of The Journal , 
a weekly paper and the first published in the county. To this Bloom 
added a daily issue, conducting both papers until May 1894, when 
he sold the subscription list to the Fond du Jac Reporter. Bloom then 
moved his entire printing and publishing plant to Menasha and 
established The Menasha Evening 'Breeze. He continued publication 
of The "Breeze until 1901, when he formed the News Publishing Com- 
pany to purchase TheiNJws from Kimball. 

Upon Bloom’s death, his widow, the late Catherine S. Bloom, 
became President of the corporation. Their daughter, Miss Clara 
Bloom, had become active in the business in 1904, and upon her 
father’s death, assumed the editorial directorship. Following the 
merger of The Times and The B{ews, she continued as editor, with 
Studley as associate editor. Miss Bloom’s sister, Mrs. Anna Sparks, 
became President of the corporation upon her mother’s death in 1923; 
Studley, Vice President, and Clara Bloom, Secretary-Treasurer. Miss 
Bloom’s death occurred in 1947. 

Publication of The BEpenah IMews-Times continued without change 
in ownership until December 1, 1943, when the Blooms and Sparks 
disposed of their interests in the company to E. C. Cochrane. 

Cochrane was publisher of The Times-Union at Marinette for six 
years, after serving as Division Manager for the former Chicago 
Flerald and Examiner. Prior to then he served three years as classified 
advertising director of the Scripps League of Newspapers, with central 
offices in Seattle, Washington. He reshaped the classified departments 
of Scripps papers in such cities as Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Boise, 
Idaho; Spokane, Washington and Dallas, Texas. 

After graduating from Stanford University, in California, Cochrane, 



34 * 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



a native of Wisconsin, operated on a system of special contracts with 
independent newspapers. While at Marinette, Cochrane became 
Secretary of the Marinette Savings and Loan Association, and Presi- 
dent of the Marinette County Council of Sportsman’s clubs. He also 
served as President of the Marinette Sportsman’s club. 

Cochrane purchased Studley’s stock in the News Publishing Com- 
pany on August i, 1944, and on February 1, 1949, acquired the 
Menasha 'Record from Tra H. Clough, veteran Menasha publisher. 
The name of the paper was then changed to Twin (‘it v i\e 1 a s -'Record . 
Its present place of publication is Neenah. 

In fall of 1927, the Mppleton Tost ( rescent established a Twin 
City office, including a Neenah and Menasha section in its daily 
publications, which are circulated in both cities. 

zAddenum 

The Menasha ‘Record of later days was originally known as the 
Menasha Evening Treeze, and so remained until 1904. When Bloom 
disposed of the paper to devote his interest to the Neenah field, the 
Menasha paper continued under the ownership of S. Elmer Smith and 
Charles W. Lamb from 1904 to 1906; under A. Duane Clinton and 
S. H. Clinedinst, 1906 to 1913 or 1914, and Clough from 1914 to 1949. 

The late Rev. J. S. Jersild published The ‘Danskeren here from June, 
1892 to 1899. It was a Danish language paper. 

Earlier still was a Menasha German language newspaper owned by 
a Mr. Klinker. There is also record showing that a paper called the 
JA (ye Dansker (also Danish) was founded by Harold Schmidt in 1899 
and published by him until 1902. 

The :\eenah (gazette, founded by Charles H. Boynton, December 
23, 1871, was published by him until September, 1875, when he was 
joined by Gustave A. Cunningham. The latter continued the paper 
until 1878, when H. L. Webster took over until September, 1880; 
then L. F. Cole until June, 1882; and H. A. Stone until 1898, when it 
was absorbed by the jReenah T)aily Times. 

There appears some doubt about the early period of The dRews. 
Some sources say the paper was started in 1880 as the Jdeenah JRews, 



JOURNALISM 



343 



becoming the Twin ( 'itv \ Daily Shrews in June, 1881, continuing as 
such until May 1919, when the merger with The Times took place. 
Bowron and Potter are credited with being the founders of The !\ews, 
and it was purchased from them by Kimball in 1883. 

Compiled by John Stud ley 






All I know is just what I read in the papers. 

Will Rogers 



LABOR MOVEMENT 



(growth and Development of the Jpabor Movement in J\eenah-M enasha 

A large part of the wage earners in Neenah-Menasha who work at 
trades and in the mills have organized themselves into labor unions, 
and there are today some fifty union locals, with a total membership 
of over six thousand. 

The unions in our towns are accepted and respected and are playing 
a responsible part in the life of the community, with the relations 
between management and labor on the whole being remarkably good. 
The great majority of employers cooperate with their unions, and 
together they are constantly improving their techniques and pro- 
cedures to provide a just and smooth-working relationship. 

This has not always been so. Any report on the history of the labor 
movement, whether it be in Neenah-Menasha, in the nation, or in the 
world, cannot be drawn in rosy hues of peace, understanding, and 
harmony, as unfortunately the opposite has been altogether too 
common. 

During the past 200 years the brilliant technological developments 
of the industrial revolution have been a constant, triumphant march 
of progress, but the conversion of these achievements into blessings 
for all the people has been slow and full of tragic setbacks. Until the 
last two decades, when people have learned through their government 
techniques to stabilize the economic life, booms and depressions 
caused hardship to all segments of the people, but the workers in the 
towns and cities were particularly hard hit. Added to this was the 
harsh lack of governmental concern for the welfare of the less 
fortunate. 

Thus, life for the working man in early Neenah-Menasha was full 
of hard work and long working hours. As in the rest of the nation, the 
pattern of farm work from sunrise to sunset was followed as a matter 
of course by the budding industries. We must assume, however, that 
the hard life of the early worker in our area never took on the stark, 
grim aspects of the slum life in the bigger cities. Certainly the closeness 



344 



LABOR MOVEMENT 



345 



to nature, with its lakes and forests, must have greatly softened the 
harshness of earning the substance of life and given a more wholesome 
purpose to life. 

As local industry expanded and prospered, the disparity between 
the living standards of the workers and their employers increased and 
resulted in restlessness. 

It was in 1882 that this restlessness led to the forming of the first 
labor union in Neenah-Menasha. Fifteen iron workers at the Berg- 
strom Foundry had heard and read about the advantages of joining 
together to present a united front in asking for better wages and 
working conditions and formed a local of the Molders and Foundry 
Workers Union. The idea caught on, and twelve years later when 
Labor Day was declared a legal holiday by act of congress, the first 
Labor Day parade was held. About 500 men, not all of whom were 
union members, joined in a parade down Wisconsin Avenue and to the 
old Schuetzen Park, where a Labor Day picnic was held, complete 
with plenty of food and speeches. 

The first community organization of unions took place in 190x3, 
when five unions with a total membership of about 200 formed the 
Central Labor Body. In that first group were the iron molders, 
barbers, carpenters, masons and boot and shoe workers. 

After the upsurge of union organizing around the turn of the cen- 
tury, the movement fell upon lean days. An unsuccessful strike by 
the papermakers at the Kimberly-Clark Corp. discouraged union 
activity in the mills for many years. Without strong national organi- 
zations, financial resources or legislation for their protection, and with 
public opinion running counter to the idea of workers making de- 
mands upon their employers, the early unions found the going very 
tough. During prosperous times they would sprout up, only to dis- 
integrate during depressions. The Iron Molders Union may be cited 
as a good example of this. Locals have been chartered four times and 
collapsed three times. 

As in the nation, World War 1 brought a flurry of union activity to 
Neenah-Menasha, and the old Central Labor Body was reactivated 
and reorganized in 1917 under the name of Neenah-Menasha Trades 
& Labor Council. The eight local charter members were the Iron 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



346 

Molders, Masons, Wireweavers, Papermakers, Carpenters, Barbers 
and Clerks. They elected August Raprager as their first president. 
Among the delegates representing their locals on this first council were 
John Kunschke and August Raprager, masons and bricklayers; Ed 
Wright and Fred Eickman, carpenters; Frank Klinke, barbers; Wil- 
liam Wege, Andrew Zemlock and Joe Bretthauer, papermakers; Ed 
Howley and Frank Krickenberg, wireweavers; and Andrew Andersen, 
molders. 

Other unions that joined shortly thereafter were the Painters, 
chartered in 1918, Electrotypers in 1919 and Meatcutters in 1921. 

It is interesting to note that the Papermakers Union, which later 
grew to be the union with the second largest membership in the Twin 
Cities, at that time was strictly a crafts union and admitted to 
membership only the men directly involved in making paper. Neither 
was there a local for each mill but one local with a scattered member- 
ship throughout the various mills. 

The union that today has by far the greatest membership locally, 
The Pulp, Sulphite and Paper Mill Workers, also carried on organizing 
work in the area. John P. Burke, who was then and still is, interna- 
tional president of the union, personally carried on organizing work 
in the Fox River Valley during the summer of 1916. While he was able 
to organize some mills to the North, he met with no success in Neenah- 
Menasha. 

A great forward step in working conditions took place in the early 
part of 1916 when the three-shift, eight-hour day was introduced for 
paper machine workers. Until that time these men had been working 
from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., a thirteen hour night 
shift and an eleven hour day shift. Whether this move was made to 
thwart the efforts of the union organizers, or because of the realiza- 
tion by Management that the two-shift day was an anachronism, is of 
course difficult to ascertain. It was probably a combination of the two. 

The depression following World War 1 had the usual effect of reduc- 
ing union activity, but the Trades & Labor Council continued to 
operate. Up until 1929 they met at the Neenah Eagles Hall, and from 
then until 1935 they met at the Danish Hall. 

When in the early part of the Roosevelt Administration the Na- 



LABOR MOVEMENT 



347 



tional Labor Relations Act became law, workers could engage in union 
organizing activity without fear of losing their jobs. This marked the 
beginning of the great growth of the union movement in Neenah- 
Menasha, as well as in the nation. 

The first industrial type union to organize in the twin cities was at 
Marathon Paper Mills, where The Pulp and Sulphite Local #148 had 
its charter issued in August, 1933. Charters were later issued by the 
same international union to Menasha Wooden Ware Local #201 in 
1934, Menasha Mill Supply Local #223 in 1935, John Strange Local 
#273 and Wisconsin Tissue Local #279 in 1937, Wisconsin Container 
Local #432 in 1941, Kimberly-Clark Local #482 in 1943, Central 
Paper Local #737 in 1951, Edgewater Paper Local #748 in 1952, 
Manhattan Rubber Local #812 in 1955 and Bergstrom Paper Local 
#889 in 1957. 

The Papermakers International was also active and chartered 
Local #353 at Marathon in 1936, Local #324 at Wisconsin Tissue 
Mills in 1937, Local #107 at Neenah Paper in 1938, Local #465 at 
Whiting Paper and Local #467 at Kimberly-Clark in 1943 and Local 
#477 at Gilbert Paper in 1944. 

Simultaneously, existing unions were strengthened, and new unions 
sprang up in other fields of private and public enterprise. Many 
unions, particularly in the building trades, are part of Appleton area 
organizations. The Electricians, Painters, Pipefitters, Truckdrivers 
and Meatcutters are among locals thus organized. There are many 
union organizations representing public servants. Thus, Post Office 
employees belong to the Letter Carrier’s Association; the State, 
County and Municipal Employees have units at the Winnebago 
Hospital, the office of the Wisconsin Employment Service and among 
city employees of both Neenah and Menasha. The firemen in both 
cities belong to the Eire Lighters Union, and there is a unit of Teachers 
Union in Menasha. 

Among local unions not heretofore mentioned are Bookbinders, 
Musicians, Sheet Metal Workers, Laborers, Cement Finishers, 
Engravers, Bartenders, Machinists and three locals of Printing 
Pressmen. 

All labor organizations in the Twin Cities have an AFL background 



A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



348 

with the exception of two, the Communications Workers (Telephone) 
CIO, and the Menasha Split Pulley Union, which is a unit of the 
United Mine Workers Local #50. 

As mentioned before, the two dominant unions are I'he Pulp and 
Sulphite Union, with about 3,500 members, and the Papermakers, 
with over 1,100 members. Originally the AFL chartered the United 
Brotherhood of Paper W'orkers in 1893, but in 1903 it split into the 
two present unions, with the Papermakers limiting its membership 
to the men directly involved in the making of paper 

This distinction has become less sharp, and today there is much 
overlapping. Thus the Papermakers represent all the workers at 
Gilbert, Whiting and Neenah Paper Companies, while at John Strange 
and Bergstrom Paper Companies the Pulp and Sulphite Union repre- 
sents all the workers. At Kimberly-Clark, Wisconsin Tissue and Mara- 
thon, both unions have locals along the traditional lines. (Marathon 
also has contracts with the Printing Pressmen, Engravers, and Ma- 
chinists.) 

In spite of this opportunity for rivalry, the two organizations get 
along remarkably well. At the three mills where both are represented, 
contract negotiations are carried on jointly. Both unions have a his- 
tory of acceptance of private ownership and operation of enterprise, 
with emphasis on gradual improvement of the economic lot of the 
worker. 

This attitude has no doubt helped to gain the acceptance and the 
general friendly response by management once the unions were 
established, and also contributed toward setting the tone for the over- 
all harmonious Labor-Management relations for which Neenah- 
Menasha prides itself. 

A good example of this growth of understanding and good will are 
events which took place at the Menasha Wooden Ware Corp. In 
1934 a rather bitter strike broke out at that plant and lasted for four 
weeks. Twenty years later, in July, 1954, an invitation went out to 
all employees and their families for dinner, entertainment and dancing 
at the Menasha Elks Club. Co-hosts were the management and the 
union celebrating two decades of getting along well together. Mowry 



L A 1} OR MOVE M E N T 



349 



Smith, president of the corporation, and John P. Burke, president of 
the International union, shared the speakers’ platform. 

The reward of this sort of friendly cooperation has been the fading 
away of the old bitterness and belligerency that had been necessary 
for the creation and success of the labor movement. In its place has 
come a sense of equality and responsibility, and a desire to work with 
other groups in the many fields of common interest, to make our land 
and community a better place to live. 

The Trades and Labor Council, through delegates from member 
unions, is the voice of organized labor locally. During the last decade 
it focused much of its attention on community affairs. This program 
got underway when John Arnold became Trades & Labor President 
in 1946, and has continued under the succeeding presidents, John 
Goodwin, Robert Forstner and Claude Cash. Under the leadership of 
John Arnold, the Council became outspoken in its praise and con- 
structive criticism of all phases of city government. The various wel- 
fare organizations also received active participation and support in 
their fund raising drives, and this was warmly welcomed by the other 
groups that had been shouldering these obligations. 

When in 1947 the Council advocated the formation of a Community 
Chest, it encouraged civic leaders to proceed with the organization 
of this often contemplated project. Labor representatives that have 
served on the Community Chest Board of Directors or committees 
include: John Arnold, John Pawlowski, Ebbe Berg, Ed Phillips, 
Clayton Cummings, A 1 Kass, A 1 Evensen, John Goodwin, Geo. 
Krause and Hugo Woeckner. 

The relationship between the Council and the Chamber of Com- 
merce has reached a high degree of cordiality. The Chamber often 
invites Council representatives to dinner meetings, and the Council 
returns the courtesy. The Junior Chamber of Commerce award to the 
outstanding young man of 1948 was given to John Pawlowski, secre- 
tary of the Trades and Labor Council. 

To celebrate and emphasize the record of friendly and peaceful 
industrial relations, the 'Trades and Labor Council in 1951 inaugurated 
a Labor-Management Dinner, the first of its kind in the U.S.A. 



35 ° 



A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



Unions invited their top management people, and the Council invited 
public officials and civic leaders to be their guests and to break bread 
and mingle with union officials. The response was very gratifying, 
with more than three hundred persons filling the Germania Hall to 
capacity. The affair was so successful and deemed so worthwhile, 
that it has since been made an annual event. It is the custom to have 
a man from management and a man from labor share the speakers’ 
rostrum. Outstanding people have been obtained to address these 
congenial gatherings. Among local men presenting management 
views have been Roy Sund, Ralph Kehl and Henry Boon. Labor 
speakers have included the international presidents of Pulp and 
Sulphite, Papermakers, Teachers, and State, County and Municipal 
Workers’ Unions. A rewarding result of these Labor-Management 
dinners is that the idea is catching on and is being copied elsewhere. 

When John Arnold retired as president in 1954, he could look back 
on nine years of leading the Council at an often hectic pace along 
many an uncharted path. There was the routine work of providing 
meeting halls for member unions, assisting in the formation of new 
locals, giving help in the few small strikes, running Labor Day picnics, 
anil representing Labor at civic affairs. There were also many innova- 
tions in addition to those previously mentioned; such as, dinner 
meetings for union presidents, participation in community safety 
programs, stepped up political leg work for candidates friendly to 
Labor, tours by Council delegates through local mills, chartered bus 
trips to Madison to see the state government in operation, and ar- 
ranging for University of Wisconsin School for Workers classes at 
Menasha Vocational School. 

While a contemplated Labor Temple has never become a reality, 
the Marathon Local #148 opened its own home on Center Street in 
Menasha in 1953. A former auto sales room and garage, it was com- 
pletely remodeled and contains offices, a conference room, a social 
room and a large meeting hall. 

Within their organizations three local union people have earned the 
distinction of being chosen to positions as representatives of their 
international union. They are Valeria Brodzinski, Wellington (Duke) 
Meyer and Edward Zeininger, all of the Pulp and Sulphite Union. 



LABOR MOVEMENT 



35 1 



Of course the main concern of unions is the interest of their members 
in their relationship with their employers. This goes far beyond the 
signing of contracts, setting wage scales and fringe benefits. In the 
larger mills meetings between union officials and supervisory per- 
sonnel are frequent and are usually conducted in a friendly and 
cooperative manner for the purpose of seeking orderly solutions to 
problems, such as: interpretations of contracts, seniority, promotions, 
job openings, time studies, determination of wage rates, training 
programs, disciplinary actions, layoffs, etc. The reward to manage- 
ment for this effort is a more satisfied, constant and loyal work force. 
The reward to the workers is a greater sense of security and dignity, 
in the knowledge that they will be dealt with fairly and not be the 
victims of arbitrary treatment. 

This report has only scratched the surface of the labor movement 
in Neenah-Menasha. Particularly is the coverage of the earliest days 
scant, and it is hoped that more information will be uncovered and 
recorded. Those pioneer union men who dared to think “dangerous” 
new thoughts and who had the courage to stand up and face the con- 
sequences of their beliefs, are the real heroes of the labor movement. 
To them succeeding generations of workers must be forever grateful. 

Compiled by Ebbe Berg 



LEGAL PROFESSION 



The record of the legal profession in the City of Neenah runs hack 
to the year after Wisconsin became a state. One Elbridge Smith was 
admitted to the law practice April 10, 1849. 

Moses Hooper came from Maine in 1857 an< -I opened a law office 
in Neenah. He continued his law practice here for six years, and then 
moved to Oshkosh. Of this period Mr. Hooper later said that “the 
first year in Oshkosh, I just made my living expenses. The second 
year I made living expenses and enough to pay off the $600 debt I had 
at Neenah.” He was born in Maine in 1835 and died in 1932 at the 
age of 97 years, at which time he was the oldest active member of the 
American Bar Association. He was an active member of the bar for 
76 years, and became an outstanding authority in the specialized law 
practice pertaining to water power, riparian rights and real estate law. 
He was for many years the legal counsel of the Kimberly-Clark Cor- 
poration. Memorials on the life and work of Mr. Hooper are found in 
Vol. 235 of Wisconsin Reports, pp. xxviii-xxxi. 

James C. Kerwin is perhaps the most illustrious lawyer who prac- 
ticed in the city of Neenah and retained his residence here through the 
years. He was born in the Town of Menasha in 1850 and died in 1921. 
During his early life he lived on his father’s farm in the area known 
as the “Irish Settlement.” He acquired this family homestead and 
owned it until the time of his death. Out of the same neighborhood 
came the great Dr. James B. Murphy, who attained international 
reputation. Mr. Kerwin’s brother, Michael, went into the field of 
medicine and also attained an international reputation in that field. 
Very early in his practice Mr. Kerwin was elected City Attorney and 
served in that capacity with conspicuous ability for twelve years. 
For four years he was a member of the University of Wisconsin Board 
of Regents. He was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 
April, 1904, and served as a member of that court for 16 years, until 
the time of his death. Memorials on the life and work of Mr. Kerwin 
are found in Vol. 177 of Wisconsin Law Reports at pp. xxxii-xxxviii. 

One of Mr. Kerwin’s famous cases involved a telephone pole which 



352 



LEGAL PROFESSION 353 

stood in the street at the Barnett Drug Store corner. The case was 
instituted by M. F.. Barnett and M. W. Krueger against the Telephone 
Company. The Supreme Court ordered the Telephone Company to 
remove the pole and to pay for damages (106 Wis. Reports 96 1 10). 
The litigation over this telephone pole continued for six years (1896- 
1902) and the case entered the Supreme Court three different times, 
and the Circuit was reversed twice in the process (115 Wis. Reports 
150). These cases were probably the most noted of Mr. Kerwin’s 
achievements as a lawyer. The decisions in them and the subsequent 
legislation which grew out of them fixed the law as to rights of abut- 
ting property owners and utilities in and to the highway. Mr. Kerwin 
acquitted himself so well in this litigation that the Telephone Com- 
pany later employed him as its general attorney in the place of the 
attorney who had opposed him in the litigation. 

The name of Wesley Mott also looms large in the early history of 
the legal profession in Neenah. He was Justice of the Peace in the 
Town of Winchester for many years, and acquired a good working 
knowledge of the law in that office and by reading such law books as 
he could get hold of. He became Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court 
at Oshkosh and occupied that position for about four years, where he 
enlarged his legal knowledge and training by observing and studying 
the cases that came before that court. He was admitted to the bar 
January 31, 1889, by which time he had already practiced law in 
Neenah four years after taking over the office and practice of George 
W. Todd in 1885. He was Justice of the Peace here for many years. 
Mr. Mott was a great reader of literature, especially the classics, and 
could quote freely and extensively from them. 

The Mott name has become something of a tradition in the city of 
Neenah, beginning in 1885 and still being carried on by Mayhew Mott, 
the son of Wesley Mott. Mayhew Mott joined his father in 1902 in 
the law practice under the name of Mott & Mott. This partnership 
terminated upon the death of the elder Mott in 1918, and Mayhew 
Mott has continued in the practice ever since. He was City Attorney 
during the turbulent reform days when the city was being cleaned up 
under the mayorship of “Bill” Clark, in 1912 and following years. He 
was also attorney for the Twin City Building, Loan & Savings Asso- 



354 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



ciation for many years. The Mott family has thus been in continuous 
legal practice here for about 75 years. May hew Mott is the oldest 
practicing attorney in Winnebago County at this time. 

James C. Kerwin and Wesley Mott were contemporaries. Mr. 
Kerwin’s first law suit was tried in Mr. Mott’s Justice Court in the 
Town of Winchester. The case was tried in the barn on the Mott 
farm. It involved a quarrel between two farmers, the details of which 
are no doubt fully described in the Justice Record of that suit, now 
covered with the dust of oblivion. About 30 years later, in 1905, Mr. 
Mott appeared in the Wis. Supreme Court and argued a case which 
involved the will of Lucy A. Smith. Sitting on the Supreme Court 
bench at that time was Mr. Kerwin, and the occasion no doubt re- 
minded both of them of Mr. Kerwin’s first law suit before Mr. Mott. 
Mr. Kerwin wrote the opinion of the Court of that will case and Mr. 
Mott won it (Marcia Wells vs Mildred Chase, 126 Wis. Reports 202). 

When Mr. Mott was Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court, it was sug- 
gested to him that he ought to take the bar examination and be 
admitted to the practice of law, but he thought he was hardly qualified 
to do so. The Judge of the Court at that time (Judge Harshaw) 
asked Mr. Mott what was necessary to start a law suit in Circuit 
Court, and Mr. Mott answered that it would be necessary to prepare 
a summons and complaint and have it served upon the defendant. 
The Judge replied that the answer was correct and immediately 
announced that Mr. Mott had passed the bar examination and was 
legally admitted to the practice of law. 

Among the earlier lawyers of Neenah was Merritt L. Campbell, who 
came from Omro and practiced here in the late 1890’s and early 
1900’s, after a period in J. C. Kerwin’s office as an understudy. He 
was Mayor in 1901-02. He and a few of his fellow townsmen organized 
the Equitable Fraternal Union in 1897 an d Mr. Campbell became the 
Secretary of that organization. About 1906 he discontinued the prac- 
tice of law and devoted his entire time to the secretaryship of that 
organization, which later consolidated with the Fraternal Reserve 
Association of Oshkosh, forming the Equitable Reserve Association. 

Another one of the earlier attorneys was Charles H. Gaffney, who 
practiced here for a number of years, between 1893 to about 19 14, 



LEGAL PROFESSION 



355 



during which time he was City Attorney for four years. He attained 
considerable notoriety when he shot I)r. Hansen and was tried and 
convicted of attempted murder. As a result, he spent several years in 
the state prison at Waupun. 

Other attorneys who practiced here in the early i goo’s were 
Chester 13 . Cleveland, Jr., the son of the Hon. C. 1 ). Cleveland, who 
was Judge of the County Court at Oshkosh for many years. He was 
City Attorney from 1907 to 1909. Mr. Cleveland abandoned the 
practice of law and became a movie actor in California. 

Jeremiah (Jerry) Mulloy is remembered here by the old-timers as 
a rip-roaring attorney whose practice was an exciting one. He moved 
to Missouri and to Arkansas, and became a judge in that area. One 
of the stories told about him grew out of a law suit in which the matter 
of pasteurized milk was involved. The opposing attorney told him 
that he did not even know what pasteurized milk was. Jerry’s reply 
was that anybody knew it came from cows that were out to pasture! 
He was City Attorney in 1901, and from 1904 to 1906. 

Beginning about 1912 there was an influx of younger lawyers who 
commenced their law practice here. 

Lewis J. Somers and Charles H. Yelte came to Neenah in that year 
and formed the partnership of Somers & Velte. The partnership was 
dissolved at the end of 191 5, when Mr. Velte moved to Menasha and 
opened a law office there. For several years he had a law office in 
Menasha and one in Neenah, and then continued his practice entirely 
at the Neenah office. He also had a law office at Winneconne for sev- 
eral years. Mr. Somers moved to New Haven, Conn., about 1920. 

Clarence C. Fenn came to Neenah in 1912 and associated himself 
with Mayhew Mott under the firm name of Mott & Fenn. Mr. Fenn 
was City Attorney when he went into military service in 1917, and 
has remained in that service ever since. He became a Brigadier 
General during the second World War. At this time he occupies an 
office in the Pentagon at Washington, D. C. 

George H. Kelly came here in 1917 after having practiced at De- 
Pere, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Kaukauna. He was City Attorney 
in 1919, and from 1920 to 1929. He was City Attorney for both 
Neenah and Menasha. He was also the attorney for the Twin City 



A HISTORY OF NKENAH 



356 

Building, Loan and Savings Association for a number of years. He 
continued to practice here until his death in 1929. 

Carl F. Mickelson associated himself with Chas. H. Velte for a 
short time in 1922, when he went to the law office of Fawsett and 
Smart, in Milwaukee, and his roommate at law school, Reinhold 13 . 
Molzow, stepped into his shoes and continued the association, which 
developed into a partnership under the name of Velte & Molzow in 
1925. This partnership still exists at this time. 

Glen W. Barto commenced his practice here in 1925 and continued 
until his license was revoked by the Supreme Court in 1930. 

John W. O’Leary came here in 1927 and Elbert C. Joyce came in 
1931. Mr. O’Leary and Mr. Joyce formed a partnership in 1936 under 
the name of O’Leary & Joyce, which continues to the present time. 
Arthur P. Remley associated himself with the firm of O’Leary & Joyce 
in 1946, and later became a partner in the firm of O’Leary, Joyce & 
Remley. Mr. O’Leary was City Attorney from 1930 to 1950. Mr. 
Remley severed his relationship with the firm in 1957 and went into 
practice for himself. 

L. Osman Cooke came to Neenah in 1930 and Gaylord C. Loehning 
in 1932. They formed a partnership in 1948 under the name of Cooke 
& Loehning, which is still in existence. Mr. Loehning was City At- 
torney from 1950 to 1955. He was also Police Justice for a number of 
years before that. 

Howard E. Bloom, after many years’ connection with the Soo Line 
Railway Company, commenced his practice here in 1938 and is still 
in practice. 

Elmer H. Radtke commenced his practice in 1938 and continued 
until 1943, when he went to Reedsburg, Wis., where he is still prac- 
ticing law. He was the first president of the Junior Chamber of Com- 
merce. 

Chester S. Bell came to Neenah in 1942, after having practiced in 
Chicago for many years. He became the chief attorney for the Kim- 
berly-Clark Corporation, and continued in that capacity until his 
retirement in 1955. During his residence in Neenah, Mr. Bell actively 
associated himself with the various activities of the County Bar 
Association. 



L EG A L P R O F F S SION 



357 



Charles E. Schaller commenced practice here in 1949. He was 
Police Justice from 1950 to 1956. He was elected City Attorney in 
1956, and still continues to hold that office. 

Robert C. Di Renzo and Jerome T. Bomier formed a partnership 
under the name of Di Renzo & Bomier and commenced the practice 
of law in Neenah in 1953. In that year Mr. Di Renzo was relieved from 
active duty in the U. S. Air Force, and Mr. Bomier resigned from the 
F.B.I. Upon investigation of every city in the state over 8,000 popu- 
lation, they concluded to locate in Neenah because they believed this 
city offered more opportunities than any other city of comparable size 
in the State. Mr. Di Renzo is also a Certified Public Accountant. 

Edmund P. Arpin is a native of Neenah and came here in 1954 
from Madison to open a law office. Wallace L. Pearson came in 1955 
and associated himself with Mr. Arpin under the firm name of Arpin 
& Pearson. Mr. Arpin is Police Justice and Mr. Pearson is Assistant 
District Attorney. 

Charles A. Littlefield was admitted to the bar in September, 1954, 
and came back to his home town to begin his law practice in associa- 
tion with Velte & Molzow. 



fist of a Attorneys with "Dates of « Admission to "Bar 



El bridge Smith 


4/18/49 


Carl F. Mickelson 


10/21/22 


J. B. Hamilton 


7/25/62 


B. I). Cannon 


7/31/23 


Moses Hooper 


7/ 8/57 


Glen W. Barto 


8/13/25 


James C. Kerwin 


2/ 2/75 


John W. O’Leary 


6/20/ 29 


George W. T ‘odd 


11/29/78 


L. Osman Cooke 


6/23/30 


Wesley Mott 


i/ 3 ! /8 9 


Elbert C. Joyce 


8/11/31 


Henry C. Schaefer 


6/25/9° 


Gaylord C. Loehning 


6/20/32 


Byron J. Sanders 


10/ 3/92 


Howard E. Bloom 


8/ 8/38 


Charles H. Gaffney 


6/21/93 


Elmer H. Radtke 


12/23/38 


Chester D. Cleveland, Jr. 


6/20/95 


Arthur P. Remley 


10/22/41 


May hew Mott 


6/19/02 


Robert C. DeBaufer 


12/14/42 


Jeremiah Mulloy 


4/ 8/05 


Chester S. Bell 


4/14/44 


George H. Kelly 


4/17/08 


Charles A. Schaller 


7 / 24/49 


Lewis J. Somers 


6/ 4/12 


Robert C. Di Renzo 


9/1 1/50 


Charles H. Velte 


6/l9/l2 


Edmund P. Arpin 


2/10/50 


Clarence C. Fenn 


6/l6/l5 


Wallace L. Pearson 


8/ 1/50 


Rein hold D. Molzow 


7/28/22 


Charles A. Littlefield 


9/10/54 



Compiled by Charles //. Velte , with the collaboration of May hew Mott 



NEENAH PUBLIC LIBRARY 



A literary society, believing that the city needed more cultural 
opportunities, organized as the Neenah Library Association in March, 

1882, to raise funds for a library. Through the efforts of this organiza- 
tion, our present library and library services were begun. 

The members of this first committee were the Rev. J. E. Chapin, 
J. N. Stone, Mrs. J. A. Kimberly, Mrs. G. W. Todd and Mrs. John 
Proctor. By-laws and a constitution were drawn up and the first 
library was established in a room in the First National Bank. 

Through a series of literary programs and musicals, money was 
raised to buy books and periodicals. This committee, which was 
enlarged and changed from time to time, carried on until September 1, 

1883, when all the holdings of the Association were turned over to the 
city, which then assumed the responsibility of the care and main- 
tenance of the project. The library was moved to the City Hall, 
where it remained until transfer to the new building. During its stay 
in the City Hall, it was twice remodeled and enlarged to take care of 
the growing interests and needs. 

Through the efforts of Mr. Robert Shiells, a Board member, $12,500 
was obtained from Andrew Carnegie toward a new building. The 
citizens of Neenah raised the balance needed through popular sub- 
scription. Mrs. Theda Clark Peters gave the site, on the Fox River, 
which at that time was in the geographical center of the city. 

In January, 1904, the new library was completed and opened for 
business. Miss Zana K. Miller was the first librarian and Miss Cora 
Lansing the assistant. 

The building, which cost about $28,000, is of Bedford stone and 
gray brick, with a frontage of 175 feet. The center part is 71 feet high 
and has two wings, each 48 feet high. The interior woodwork is oak, 
as were the polished floors. The first floor housed the book stacks, a 
small reference room, the children’s room, a large reading room and 
two smaller offices. The room arrangement is convenient. The base- 
ment had one large room and smaller ones used for storage. The 
members of the Women’s Tuesday Club furnished the large room and 

358 



LIBRARY 



359 



were given permission to use it for their meetings until such time as 
it was needed for library purposes. 

As the population of Neenah increased and more people availed 
themselves of library privileges the library became crowded. In 1932 
the Children’s Department was moved to a room downstairs, giving 
the Adult Department much needed room. That has now again out- 
grown its quarters, but there is no place to expand. The children’s 




Neenah Public Library 



room, too, became crowded, and a store room was added to it. Now 
that we are doing more and more school work, and children are en- 
couraged to do more reading, this, too, has become crowded. Books 
are circulated by members of the library staff at three schools during 
the school year, and classes from the other schools visit the library 
regularly for library instruction and to select books for study or pleas- 
ure reading. 

In 1955 the Women’s Tuesday Club was asked to find another 
meeting place, as the room was needed for library use. The members 
had met here regularly for 51 years. 

From a book stock of 8,804, the library has grown to 39,000, and 
from two librarians to seven. Circulation today is over 180,000 a year. 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A II 



360 

The library has not only been a place to select books and do refer- 
ence work, but has been a central meeting place for many other 
activities. During World War T, the Red Cross had its headquarters 
here, using the downstairs room, as well as the main reading room, 
to carry on their sewing and knitting projects. “Bundles for Britain” 
used the Club Room during World War II for their war work. The 
Winnebago Day School met in the library the first year it was organ- 
ized. The Neenah Museum sponsored many fine art exhibits in the 
Club Room, and several local artists also held shows here. Being cen- 
trally located, the library has been a meeting place for many small 
groups and some vocational classes. 

The library is governed by a Board of six members, appointed by 
the Mayor and Council, and the Superintendent of Schools as an ex- 
officio member. The present Board consists of Mr. Harry Korotev, 
President; Mr. Ambrose Owen, Secretary; Miss Nellie Hubbard; Mr. 
Gilbert Krueger; Mr. C. H. Sage, grandson of Mr. Robert Shiells; Mr. 
Harold Mennes, Superintendent of Schools, and Mrs. A. E. Mac- 
Quarrie. Miss May Hart, Chief Librarian, was appointed to office in 
1928, succeeding Miss Ida Kellogg. Mrs. Clarence Bredendick is the 
Children’s Librarian. 

In 1954 the library celebrated its 50th anniversary in this building. 
The growth and success of the library is due to the fine members of 
the Boards, who have given much time to the needs of the library, 
and to the librarians and their staffs in stimulating the reading habits 
of the community. 

May Hart 



Thar there should one man die ignorant who had 
capacity for knowledge, this I call a tragedy. 

Thomas Carlvi.e 



N HEN AH’S MEDICAL HISTORY FROM 
« 8 7 8 TO 1957 

During the time covered by Mr. Cunningham in his history of Nee- 
nah, and a few years beyond 1878, it was apparently quite easy to 
obtain a license to practice medicine. In the few states requiring a 
permit, political influence, rather than knowledge, was often an im- 
portant requirement. Many of the men professing to be physicians 
had never attended a medical school. They had managed to become a 
“Doctor of Medicine” as far as the trusting public was concerned 
merely by assisting an older doctor for a period. 

Neenah, however, was most fortunate that the majority of its early 
doctors were graduates of the best medical schools of that day. Each 
one was dentist, oculist, obstetrician, surgeon, internal medicine spe- 
cialist, psychiatrist and counselor. He used comparatively few drugs. 
There was a folding black leather case that fitted into his special back 
coat-tail pocket. Contained in its tiny glass bottles were carried most 
of the drugs used in average calls. Paregoric, Dover’s powder, quinine, 
morphine, bismuth, calomel and salol were a few of these standbys. 
He also carried a bag containing dressings, instruments, chloroform 
and occasionally wooden-handled forceps. There was always a bottle 
of carbolic acid to use for sterilization. Aseptic surgery, the important 
contribution of Lord Lister, was not yet in use. The administration of 
anesthetics was still in a crude stage. There were only vague ideas 
concerning hemorrhage and infections. Smallpox was the only infec- 
tious disease the profession knew how to combat. 

It is doubtful if any of our young men of today can appreciate the 
physical endurance required of these older generations of doctors. The 
long country rides, either in a buggy or on a saddle, over makeshift 
roads, were exhausting. There was a fairly good dirt road going 
toward Winchester as far as “Bailey’s Corners,” now Ridgeway golf 
course. Often a doctor’s horse would be tied to a post at this place for 
hours, while his less fortunate master waded through mud, marsh 
land and often snow drifts to some early settler’s home and back. 

361 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



362 

In 1877 Neenah had the distinction of being the first town in the 
state, and one of the first in the nation, to have telephones. There 
were but four: Mr. Henry, the druggist, had two, one in his home and 
one in the store, which was in the same location as Elwers’ Drug 
Store today; Dr. Harnett on Church Street had one; and the fourth 
was in Dr. Robinson’s large, new home across the bridge on Commer- 
cial Street, now belonging to the Y.W.C.A. 

But don’t think that a Neenah doctor could have built that home 
in those days from medical fees! It was paid for by money made in 
the manufacture of paper! Dr. Robinson was one of the first men to 
have the idea of making paper in Neenah. He and five other men 
formed a stock company that was instrumental in building Neenah’s 
first paper mill in 1865. Dr. Robinson was the superintendent the 
first year, and, according to Mr. Cunningham, “ran it very success- 
fully.” This mill was eventually sold to the Kimberly-Clark Company. 

Dr. Robinson’s first home had been on the corner of Main and Tor- 
rey Streets, within easy reach of farmer patients. It is still there. 
Many farmers passed each day with farm produce, often including 
heavy loads of logs or wheat for the saw and flour mills. On one occa- 
sion a young barefoot boy was brought into the house suffering from 
a broken leg received in a fall from his father’s load of logs. The doc- 
tor’s wife gave what first aid she could and wondered at the many sin- 
cere questions the lad asked concerning the study and practice of 
medicine. Many years later a prosperous-looking bearded gentleman 
called at the house on the island and said, “You do not recognize your 
little barefoot John who had the broken leg, do you, Mrs. Robinson ?” 
He then introduced himself as John B. Murphy, who had become the 
famous Chicago surgeon. 

There was a wealth of more human interest stories regarding the 
work of the early doctors here. One frequently told concerned a little 
Indian boy. Each fall a number of Indian families came into town, 
trading wild blackberries for old clothes. Their favorite campsite was 
“the forty acres,” now the property including the estates of the Ernst 
Mahlers and the Mowry Smiths. As a rule these Indians had their own 
medicine man, but on one occasion during a measles epidemic, they 
decided to try one of ours. But the good doctor was not able to make 



MEDICAL HISTORY 



363 

an accurate diagnosis, for when he arrived, the frightened little pa- 
tient had climbed to the top of one of the tallest trees, and refused to 
come down ! 

It was about this time that the automobile was invented. What a 
boon that was for the doctor! By about 1910 they had come into gen- 
eral use, and the new Theda Clark Hospital was opened for patients. 
In this locality, at least, the days of kitchen surgery were over. 

The advance of medicine and surgery has gone along a parallel line 
with that of industry and the arts. In some instances it has advanced 
to a point approaching the miraculous since the days that Mr. Cun- 
ningham wrote his final chapter. Modern methods and instruments of 
diagnostic aid have been largely responsible for the medical advance- 
ment. The electro-cardiograph, the electro-encephalogram have con- 
tributed untold help in diagnosis. Antitoxins of diphtheria, tetanus, 
and gas bacillus have saved countless lives. The program of immuni- 
zation for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough has helped in rais- 
ing the life expectancy from 29 to 66 years. Typhoid fever has become 
practically extinct, and tuberculosis is fast falling in its wake. 

The advancement in the technique of surgery and obstetrics has 
been phenomenal. The modern surgical technique and the precautions 
in obstetrical deliveries, and the care both before and after birth of 
the baby, has wiped out the most dreaded of all calamities of yester- 
day, namely childbirth fever. 

The new miracle drugs, penicillin and the mycins, have aided tre- 
mendously in the control of infections. The newer methods of prema- 
ture and sick infant care have contributed a large part to human wel- 
fare. 

The most dramatic and spectacular advancement no doubt is the 
modern surgeon’s contribution. The radical removal of the malignant 
disease from practically any organ of the body is now a common pro- 
cedure. The chest and heart surgery is now done as readily by special- 
ists in that field as was the appendectomy when first undertaken. 
The modern methods of anesthesia have contributed untold comfort 
to millions of war wounded, and to civilians who are required to under- 
go surgery. It is no longer necessary for one to breath in the nauseat- 
ing fumes of ether or chloroform. Sodium pentothal administered in 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



364 

the vein carries the patient off into clouds as though he were on a 
magic carpet. It has also rendered many surgical procedures possible 
and safe that formerly were thought not advisable to do. 

Two Neenah doctors enlisted in World War I. T hey were Thaddeus 
D. Smith and Clarence C. Del Marcell. Dr. Smith was the first Ameri- 
can officer to be wounded in the World War, receiving a knee injury. 
He was on the staff' of Harvard Base Hospital in France when it was 
bombed in September, 1917. Dr. Fitzsimmons, the first American 
officer to be killed in the great war, and for whom the large Denver 
Hospital is named, was a victim of the same bomb. 

Dr. Del Marcell received a broken back in a Neenah car accident 
shortly after returning from Service. It subsequently caused his death. 

Dr. Harold Baxter was the only doctor from Neenah to enlist in 
World War II, when he joined the Navy. He was assigned to the ship 
Boise, which became famous early in the war by making direct hits 
on six Japanese war vessels within a few minutes. It was one of the 
first times that radar was used. Dr. Baxter remained in the Navy, and 
is now a psychiatrist with the rank of Captain. 

The Women’s Auxiliary to the Winnebago County Medical Society 
was organized in 1932. The aims of this group are to promote friend- 
liness, to assist with health activities, and to promote health educa- 
tion. Most of the Neenah doctors’ wives became charter members. 
This society has been very active through the past twenty-four years, 
and has proved to be very worthwhile. 

lasting of physicians who have practiced in Neenah, from 1878 up 
to and including 1956 (in about the same order as they began their 
practice in Neenah): 

Galentine: General Practitioner 

Clark, Edgar W., General Practitioner 

Robinson, Nathaniel Stillman: General Practitioner 

Wright, Aaron: General Practitioner 

Moore: General Practitioner 

Van Vuren: General Practitioner 

Memmler: General Practitioner 

Messman: General Practitioner 

Barnett, James: General Practitioner President of the State Medical Society 
1888-89 

Beach: General Practitioner 



MEDICAL HISTORY 



365 



Pacham: General Practitioner 
Me Dermot: General Practitioner 
Barnett, James, Jr.: General Practitioner 
Conover: General Practitioner 
Gibbons: General Practitioner 

Greenwood, Samuel: Radiology (Purchased his first X-ray machine in 1902, 
seven years after the discovery of X-ray. This means that this is probably 
one of the oldest radiologic offices in the middle west, if not in the country. 
This practice purchased from Dr. Greenwood in 1941 by Dr. Beatty; Dr. 
Ryan became associated in 1953.) 

Jesperson, Thomas: General Practitioner 
Mitchell, Frederick: General Practitioner 
Ozanne, Irving: General Practitioner 
Russell, Rosa A.: General Practitioner 
Smith, Eli J.: General Practitioner 
Todd, Gordon S.: Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat 

Giffen, L. W.: General Practitioner first, then throat specialist; patented a 
throat remedy known as muko solvent. 

Del Marcell, Clarence C.: General Practitioner 
Dollard, C. E.: General Practitioner 
Smith, Thaddeus D.: General Practitioner 
Rogers, Ronald B.: General Practitioner 
Ryan, Daniel Joseph: Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat 
Pitz, Matthias: General Practitioner 
Williamson, George H.: General Practitioner 
Canavan, John P.: General Practitioner 
Graham, Albert: Urology 
Brunckhorst, Frank O.: General Practitioner 
Petersen, Gordon W.: Industrial Medicine 
Lowe, Roy C.: Eye 

Baxter, Harold L.: Psychiatry (in Navy) 

Beglinger, Harold: Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat 

Anderson, Gerhard R.: General Practitioner 

Lowe, Robert: Internal Medicine 

Ozanne, Bryce: Anesthesiologist 

Brown, Robert C.: Bone and Joint 

Quade, Raymond C.: Neurosurgery 

Strauser, Emery R.: Pathologist 

Regan, David M.: General Practitioner 

Pansch, Frank N.: Obstetrics and Gynecology 

Beatty, Samuel R.: Radiology 

Smith, Frederick H.: Surgery 

Henning, Elizabeth: Psychiatry 

Henning, Roger E.: Internal Medicine 

Smith, Robin: Pediatrics 

Kirchgeorg, Clemens G.: Eye 



3 66 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Talbot, Allen E.: Anesthesiologist 
Ryan, Donald: Radiology 
Springer, Vincent E.: General Practitioner 
Bonfiglio, Ralph G.: Internal Medicine 
Horn, Gilbert: General Practitioner 



c American ^Academy of Qeneral Practice 

The first chapter of this society in Wisconsin was organized in Neenah, 
August io, 1947, under the direct leadership of Dr. J. P. Canavan. 
The national charter was given to the Neenah chapter on August 26, 
1948. Other chapters followed in our state, and Wisconsin is now sixth 
in membership in the United States. The following physicians were 
charter members: 



J. P. Canavan 
Paul T. O’Brien 
Richard A. Jensen 
Oscar F. Foseid 
George N. Pratt, Ir. 
William B. Hildebrand 



George Hildebrand 
Fred G. Jensen 
George R. Nebel 
Gerhard R. Anderson 
Thaddeus D. Smith 
George E. For kin 



The American Academy of General Practice has grown to become 
second only to the American Medical Association in number of its 
members. Dr. William B. Hildebrand, of Menasha, one of the Neenah 
charter members, became National President in 1954. 



Compiled by Dr. and Mrs. T. D. Smith 



Physicians and Surgeons presently practicing in the Twin Cities (as 
of November, 1957): 



G. R. Anderson 
Wallace S. Bailey 

H. F. Beglinger 
Ralph G. Bonfiglio 
R. C. Brown 

Frank O. Brunckhorst 
J. P. Canavan 
John E. Conway 
L. F. Corry 
Albert P. Graham 
Gordon H. Hardie 
Elizabeth Henning 
Roger Henning 



George B. Hildebrand 
William B. Hildebrand 
Gilbert Horn 
F. G. Jensen 
R. A. Jensen 
Clemens Kirchgeorg 
John R. Nebel 
F. N. Pansch 
George N. Pratt, Jr. 

R. H. Quade 
David M. Regan 
Donald J. Ryan 
Robert L. Schwab 



M EDI C A L II I S T O R Y 



o 



IV 1 L 


L/ 1 G A L filol U Iv 1 ^ U 


George P. Schwei 
Frederick H. Smith 
Thaddeus D. Smith 
V. G. Springer 


Ralph Suechting 
Allen E. Talbot 
Paul E. Wainscott 


Osteopath : 

A. VV. Muttart 

Optometrists: 

I). M. Anderson 
P. L. Schlaefer 
Corr Opticians 


Chiropractors: 

U. X. Furman 
R. E. Geiger 
W. E. lung 
O. P. Lovik 


Chiropodist: 


Veterinarian: 


Kent L. Scholl 


C. A. Fredrich 



N K E N A H - M E NASH A MILITARY HISTORY 

i 898-1955 

The close of the Civil War brought a period of thirty years free of the 
threat of war, and the Twin Cities enjoyed it along with the rest of the 
nation. However, the sinking of the battleship, Maine, in the harbor 
at Havana on February 15, 1898, ended this era of peace, and marked 
the beginning of the Spanish-American War. 

Neenah and Menasha had no units engaged in this war. Evidently 
only seven or eight Twin City men served in the Armed Forces during 




S. A. Cook armory, headquarters for Company I. 



this war, but there are no formal records available and memory has 
dimmed in recollection, even among three of this number who are 
alive today. These three are Col. J. B. Schneller, Bart Homan and 
Thomas F. Thomsen. Two of the others, now dead, were Clifford 
Lansing and Hans Lauritzen. 

The first organized military unit in the Twin Cities following the 
Civil War was formally organized in 1899, with J. B. Schneller as 
Captain. Three years later, in 1902, this unit became a part of the 
Wisconsin National Guard and was designated as Company I in the 
old ‘'First Wisconsin” infantry regiment. It was the predecessor unit 

368 



MILITARY HIS T O R Y 




369 

of the present-day Company I, 127th Infantry, 32nd Infantry Divi- 
sion. To provide a suitable housing for Neenah’s military unit, Hon. 
S. A. Cook built and dedicated the present armory in 1906. 

The first Menasha unit, since the Civil War, did not come into being 
until the outbreak of World War I. It was organized as Company E, 
Fourth Wisconsin Infantry, and was formally mustered into federal 



According to Jake Schneller (No. i man, top row), this group of Neenah men were all privates in the 
Oshkosh Company prior to the mustering in of Neenah’s Co. I in February 1902. Photo taken at Camp 
Douglas (probably) in 1901. Top Row: Jake Schneller, Nelson, Dick O’Brien, Dune McMurchie, Bill 
Relyea, John Ritten. 2nd Row: Otto Draheim, Retzlaff, Bill Halsey, Unknown, Ed. Wickert, Sorenson?. 
Bottom Row: Nelson, James Sorenson, Doc Holden, Frank Schneller, John Schindler, Ed. Heckle, 
Peter Schneller, Ralph Dietz, Roland Peck. On Ground: Fred Wright, Earl Sharpless. 

service on August 5, 1917. It was the predecessor unit of today’s 
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, T2yth 
Infantry. 

Company I saw service on the Mexican border from June 30, 1916, 
to January 19, 1917, but its return home was short-lived. Six months 
later, on August 5, 1917, it was again called for duty in World War I. 
It participated in the Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne and Meuse-Argonne 
offensives, and was part of the Army of Occupation in Germany after 



370 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



the signing of the Armistice on November n, 1918. It left Germany 
for home on April 18, 1919, after six months under fire on five fronts, 
meeting and helping to vanquish 23 German Divisions. 

The World War I history of the Menasha unit, Company E, was 
similar to that of Company I. Mustered into service on August 5, 
1917, it served in France and in the Army of Occupation, returning 
home in June of 1919. 

As accurately as one can determine the figures, 684 Twin City men 
served in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps in World War I. Of this 
total, twenty-four from Neenah and fifteen from Menasha were killed 
in action or died in the Service. 

On October 15, 1940, the two Twin City companies of the Wiscon- 
sin National Guard were again mustered into Federal Service for 
training duty, which led, on December 7, 1 94 1 , to participation in 
World War II. Both units were then, as now, a part of the Red Arrow, 
or 32nd Infantry Division, and served as such throughout the war, 
culminating in more than three years of fighting in the Pacific Theater, 
from Australia to recapture of the Philippines, and occupation of 
Japan after its surrender. 

It has been very difficult to get accurate figures as to the number of 
Neenah-Menasha citizens who served their country in the Armed 
Forces during World War II. The Neenah Honor Roll listed 1,648 
names, whereas the Menasha Honor Roll listed 1,384 names, making a 
total of 3,032. However, Selective Service Board 3 of Winnebago 
County, which had jurisdiction over Neenah, Menasha and the 
northern part of Winnebago County, has records to show that a total 
of 3,837 men served in the Armed Forces in World War II, and it is 
apparent that the large majority of these were residents of Neenah 
and Menasha. 

Best available records also show that of this total, 41 men from 
Neenah gave their lives while in the Service. 

It has been virtually impossible to get figures on Twin City par- 
ticipation in the “police action’’ in which this country has engaged 
since World War II, and particularly in the so-called Korean War. 
Selective Service records do show that a total of 1,349 persons from 



MILITARY HISTORY 371 

Neenah and Menasha have served in the Armed Forces since October, 
1948. 

None of the Twin City military units participated in the Korean 
hostilities. 

The Twin Cities now have three Wisconsin National Guard units 
since the reorganization of the 32nd Infantry Division after World 
War II. They are Company I, 127th Infantry; Headquarters and 
Headquarters Detachment, 1st Battalion, 127th Infantry; and Med- 
ical Company, 127th Infantry. 

The U. S. Army Reserve Center moved into its new building on 
Third Street, Menasha, in the spring of 1955. At the present time 
there are six men permanently stationed here, with Captain Thomas 
F. Keough, Area Commander, in charge of the Center. Five com- 
panies of the 274th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. H. H. 
DesMarais, the 84th Quartermaster Company, and 5009 Research 
and Development Unit are stationed here. 

Veterans' Organizations 

The close of World War I saw the forming of a new, and what has 
since become a very powerful, veterans’ organization, The American 
Legion. 

Neenah and Menasha were early in organizing their posts in this 
new association. The Neenah Post was named in honor of James P. 
Hawley, who died in the sinking of the Tuscania on February 15, 
1918. The Menasha Post was named in honor of Henry J. Lenz, an 
artilleryman who was killed in action under circumstances of out- 
standing bravery in France on July 15, 1918. 

b'ollowing World War II, the ranks of the American Legion were 
opened to all veterans of that war, and many have become members. 

Each of the Twin Cities also has a chapter of the Veterans of For- 
eign Wars, an organization which takes into membership only those 
who have served the United States in war in foreign lands. 

Also, Chapter No. 46 of the Disabled American Veterans was organ- 
ized in 1945, with a membership of 52 at the present time. 

The Winnebago Veterans’ County Service Office, located at 514 



37 2 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




Co. I Football Team, 1907. Back row, left to right: Dick O’Brien, Joe Anderson, Louis Larson, John 
Schneller, unknown, Tony Weber. Front row, left to right: Charles Shepherd, Bill Kuehl, Chris Jcrsild, 
Emmett Christofferson, Jim Christofferson, Oscar Fuechsel, unknown, Fred Peterson, unknown. The 
little boy is also unknown. 



North Commercial Street, was instituted January i, 1936, to assist 
veterans in filing for benefits from federal, state, county or city 
sources. The service is supervised by the Winnebago County Board of 
Supervisors under an act of the State Legislature during their 1935 
session. 

By Dan A. Hardt , Colonel , Infantry 



God grants liberty only to those who love it 
and are always ready to guard and defend it. 

Daniel Webster 



THE JOHN NELSON BERGSTROM ART 
CENTER AND MUSEUM 

In the will of John N. Bergstrom, who died in 1951, appeared this 
clause: “If at the time of the death of my wife the City of Neenah 
shall have established a museum, then my trustee shall pay to said 
City $50,000 for museum purposes.” 

Preliminary work toward this civic project started August 31, 1953, 
when the Rotary Club of Neenah, under the chairmanship of F. H. 
Werling, called together a committee of leading citizens to study the 
possibilities of establishing a public museum in Neenah. Mr. Ernst 
Mahler was elected Chairman of this study committee. Other mem- 
bers: Mayor Carl Loehning, John W. O’Leary, J. Russell Ward, Mrs. 
John N. Bergstrom, Henry Young, F. H. Werling, Mrs. H. K. Bab- 
cock, Mrs. C. B. Clark and James C. Kimberly. 

The first step in the establishment of such museum occurred in the 
fall of 1953, when the City of Neenah accepted the offer of Mrs. J. N. 
Bergstrom for the use of her home at 165 North Park Avenue, Neenah, 




Home of the J. N. Bergstroms, now to be known as The John Nelson Bergstrom Art Center and Museum. 

373 



374 



A HISTOR Y OF NF.ENAH 



as a public art center and museum. Title to the property was trans- 
ferred to the city and Mrs. Bergstrom reserved use of the property 
as her residence during her lifetime. (Mrs. Bergstrom died February 
13, 1958.) At that time the city passed a city ordinance dedicating 
the property for use as an art center and museum to be operated by 
the City of Neenah Municipal Museum Foundation, Inc., which 
Foundation was to assume all operating expenses of the museum. (In 
other words, the city will have no cost to bear.) 

The second step in assuring the Museum was taken on September 
22, 1954, when the Articles of Incorporation were filed for the City 
of Neenah Municipal Museum Foundation, Inc. 

According to the incorporation papers, purpose of the new Founda- 
tion was to establish and maintain a public art center and museum 
in the City of Neenah, to be known as the John Nelson Bergstrom 
Art Center and Museum, and for other educational and cultural pur- 
poses. 

The affairs of the Foundation are managed by a board of five direc- 
tors, one of whom will always be the Mayor of Neenah, and the other 
four elected annually by a Board of founding members. 

The original founding members of the Foundation are: Mrs. Evan- 
geline Bergstrom (subsequently deceased), Mrs. Jessie K. Clark, 
James C. Kimberly, Mrs. Geraldine H. Kimberly, Ernst Mahler, Mrs. 
Carol Lyon Mahler, S. F. Shattuck, Mrs. Ruth H. Shattuck, Mrs. 
Fanny L. Babcock, Miss Helen E. Babcock, Miss F. Elizabeth Bab- 
cock, The Mayor of Neenah, Arthur Remley and J. Russell Ward. 
(These Founding members are still in office in April, 1958.) 

The first Board of Directors elected October 25, 1954, were: Mrs. 
J. N. Bergstrom, Ernst Mahler, J. Russell Ward, Carl E. Loehning 
and Arthur P. Remley. 

The officers elected October 25, 1954, are still in office: 

President — Mr. Ernst Mahler 
Vice President — (to be filled) 

Secretary-Treasurer — J. Russell Ward 
Attorney — Arthur Remley 

Executive Director^ Prof. Charles M. Brooks, Jr. (of Lawrence College) 

The Internal Revenue Service of the United States Treasury De- 



MUSEUM 



375 



partment on August 24, 1956, recognized the City of Neenah Munici- 
pal Museum, Inc., as an educational tax exempt organization, con- 
tributions to which are deductible for tax purposes. 

The Foundation has raised funds from citizens to permanently en- 
dow said museum and its operation. The Foundation will bear all 
expense of maintaining the museum and the Bergstrom home. 

Mrs. John Bergstrom (by will) left all her famous paper weight 
collection to the City of Neenah Municipal Museum, Inc., and, in 
addition, substantial funds for the permanent endowment of said 
Museum. 

( The above data supplied by J. Russell Ward.) 



NEENAH’S PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS 



Columbian "Park 

In 1843 the early settlers, many of whom came from the New England 
States, set aside as a village “green” one and six-tenths acres of 
ground, now known as Columbian Park, still referred to by older resi- 
dents as “The Green.” It is interesting to know that our “Green” is 
older by fourteen years than famous Central Park in New York City. 

This area, in the center of our first ward, has always been a play 
center. It contains two softball diamonds for summer use. The center 
of the park is flooded in winter for ice skating. In the northeast corner 
of the “Green” we find a sandbox and play apparatus for small children. 
Along the west border are two electrically lighted tennis courts, also 
lighted horseshoe courts. An artistic shelter building provides toilet 
facilities, storage and a warm room for skate changing in winter. 



"Riverside Park 

To Mr. John Proctor, more than to any other citizen of his time, 
belongs the credit for municipal ownership of this property. He was 
far-sighted. He believed that “where there is no vision, the people per- 
ish.” The entire point might have been bought for a song, and Mr. 
Proctor urged its purchase by the city, but his argument fell on deaf 
ears. As a compromise, the Council did, in 1872, buy the nineteen and 
one-half acres which we now know as Riverside Park. $4,400.00 was 
paid for the property, and the records reveal that considerable criti- 
cism was leveled against our city fathers for so extravagant a use of 
public funds. 

An eighth grade girl, never dreaming that her expression would find 
its way into print, penned these lines: 

“A more beautiful sight could not be found than the Fox River near the Riverside 
Park on a mild spring day. The hazy atmosphere and the calm rippling water is 
quite bewitching. The river, always the color of the sky, is a heavenly blue, and the 

376 



PARK S 



377 




New pavilion, Riverside Park, opened to the public during the summer of 1956. 



reflection of the lovely green foliage in its mirror-like surface is exquisite. A person 
sitting on the shore of the river drinking in its beauty could not help being charmed 
with the blending of the different tints into one perfect harmony.” 

In the early days Riverside Park became a mecca for steamboat 
excursions from other cities. A dance pavilion was constructed in the 
north tip of the park, adjacent to the dock. A shelter for picnic tables 
was nearby, and two toilet houses were spotted in the center of the 
area. 

During the 1930^ Phelps Wyman, of Milwaukee, an eminent land- 
scape architect, was employed by the city to design Washington Park 
and to redesign Riverside Park. According to his plan, the original 
drive, which closely followed the shoreline, was moved to its present 
position. 

Mr. Wyman and the then Park Board visualized a new pavilion fac- 
ing west in the deep bend of the drive, embodying all needed features, 
such as toilet facilities, kitchen, stage, dance floor and space needed 
by the yachting enthusiasts, particularly during regattas. The pavilion 





A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



378 

was constructed on the east side of the drive during the fall of 1955 
and spring of 1956, coming into full use over the summer of 1956. 



Shattuck ‘Park 

In the early days of the city, the site of Shattuck Park was occupied 
for varying periods by the Northwest Sewer Pipe Company, the 
Arthur Bishop Marble Works, Fenton and Chalfant Coal and Wood 
Yards, C. A. Sorenson’s Boat Works, the Neenah Steam Laundry, and 
as a dumping ground for refuse. About 1910, Clara A. Shattuck con- 
ceived the idea of securing this property and converting it into a 
beauty spot. The completed park was deeded to the city of Neenah 
by Mrs. Shattuck in 1915. Shattuck Park contains one and six-tenths 
acres. Its shoreline measures approximately 400 feet. 

In 1957 this park was reconstructed to provide accommodation not 
only for the vast increase in small power boats, but for the parking of 
cars of boat owners. The center of the park was re-done, creating a 
beauty spot, with flowers and high-growing shrubbery, where citizens 
may come for relaxation or enjoyment of the noon lunch. 



T)oty Park 

Prior to 1922, the larger part of the area known as Doty Park was a 
low-lying piece of property owned by C. B. Clark, whose father pur- 
chased it many years before with the thought that some day he or his 
family might utilize it as a building site. In 1922, however, Mr. Clark 
presented it to the city for park purposes. A group of individuals 
added to Mr. Clark’s gift by purchase of the frontage on Lincoln 
Street, making, in all, nine and 25/100 acres. The shoreline measures 
approximately 1,200 feet. 

To secure the fill for the low portions of this tract, and at the same 
time, to produce an artistic feature in itself, a lagoon was dredged 
through the lowest section of the property. The dredging created an 



PARKS 



379 



island which also adds charm to the landscape. In August, 1928, Doty 
Park, in its present form, was dedicated. 

The opening of this park corrected an unbalanced community situa- 
tion. 'There had been a growing desire on the part of residents of the 
third and fifth wards for a park on their side of the river. 'The con- 
struction of this park on the “Island” was also in line with the policy 
of the park board to eventually secure a park or a playground for each 
major section of the city. 

At the Lincoln Street entrance of the park stands a replica of the 
“Mansion” of Wisconsin’s second territorial governor, James Duane 
Doty. The Grand Loggery now houses a growing collection of historic 
objects. (The present structure is a replica of the original, and was 
constructed in 1948.) 

This park, designed by Mrs. Elizabeth Thuerer, is easily Neenah’s 
most beautiful open space. Phelps Wyman, consultant of the park 
board from 1929 to 1932, added a delicate touch to the original design 
by opening up vistas through the shrubbery, looking out onto Lake 
Winnebago, across to Riverside Park, and south to Wisconsin Ave- 
nue. 



Kjmbcrly "Point Park 

In 1929, a superb property, called Kimberly Point Park, was added to 
Neenah’s park system, the gift of Mrs. Helen Kimberly Stuart. The 
park looks east onto the broad expanse of Lake Winnebago and north 
onto the mouth of the river. 

In 1944, Mr. J. C. Kimberly, sensing the need of a light marking the 
entrance to the river, donated sufficient funds to erect a beautiful 
lighthouse at a point where lake and river meet. This structure also 
serves as a comfort station for the Kimberly Point area. 

Beautiful Lake Shore Drive makes a U turn around the outer edge 
of Kimberly Point, joining with North Park Avenue, which lies to 
the west of the park. The strip of land outside the drive, bordering 
the 870 feet of shoreline, is rich in scenic value. Any pleasant evening 



38 ° 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




Kimberly Point in 1902. 



during the summer or early fall, small groups may be seen at the out- 
door ovens preparing their picnic supper. 

Mrs. Stuart was instrumental in providing the colorful cherry and 
other blooming trees on Kimberly Point. Among these choice trees 
was a shoot from the famous Washington Elm. This is now a sturdy 
tree, properly marked, and a constant reminder of our American her- 
itage. 

It will be remembered that the “Old Council Tree,” rendezvous of 
the Indians, stood close to Kimberly Point. This site is indicated by a 
monument in commemoration of the Old Council Tree and the Amer- 
ican Indians who met under its branches. 



Water Street -Area 

In 1931, when the City Council voted to construct a concrete retain- 
ing wall between the foot of Lincoln Street and the C&NW tracks, 
they did what they voted to do — and more. The wall made it possible 
to reclaim from the Fox River, two and three-tenths acres of land 
which, in due time, passed into the keeping of the city. 




PARKS 



381 




Lighthouse on Kimberly Point today. 



Washington Tark 

Our community is indebted to Mrs. Sara Bergstrom, whose gift, in 
1931, financed the purchase of most of the property included in this 
eleven and one-half acre tract. Ordinarily, the construction of a park 
of this size would extend over several years, and the cost would be 
cared for by appropriations of successive Councils. However, the 
city’s need for work projects during the depression squeezed into a 
short space of time what would otherwise have been a long process. 

This area is designed primarily for play. Its eastern edge is laid out 
for the use of little children. Three tennis courts fit into the southwest 
corner. A field for hardball takes the center of the stage, and the swale 
adjusts itself to a softball diamond for summer use and an ice rink in 
winter. During the winter of 1932-33, 262 mature trees were trans- 
planted into our parks and street borders. Many of these may be seen 
in Washington Park, where they create a pleasing effect without in 
any way detracting from the freedom of play. 



High School i Athletic Field 

In 1931 the original plan of the then School Board was to build the 
High School and its athletic field on only the west half of what is now 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



382 

the school property. The east half was residential and pasture land. 
Through the cooperation of Mr. and Mrs. S. F. Shattuck, the entire 
block was acquired. The grounds, as they now exist, were laid out by 
Phelps Wyman, landscape architect, and planted by Klockner Bros., 
landscape gardeners. 

Subsequently, the city, through its School Board, acquired nine 
additional acres to the south, making total playing fields of 20.7 acres. 



j^audan Fields 

Southwest of our High School Athletic Field lie two fields, each 144 
X600 feet. We find this property set aside for park purposes in the 
original plot of Bigelow’s Addition dated 1856. The fields take their 
name from a Mr. Laudan, whose residence property fronted on them. 
As the city extended itself southward, these tracts became increasingly 
valuable as a neighborhood playground and for pupils of the Wilson 
School. 



Vark Statistics 



Approximate Park Acreage: 



Riverside Park 


19.5 


Kimberly Point 


3-5 


Columbian 


1 .6 


Shattuck 


1 .6 


High School Fields 


20.7 


Laudan Fields 


4.0 


Doty Island 


9.25 


Water Street 


2-3 


Washington 


11. 5 


Cook 


•99 


Swimming pool & field 


8.4 


Second Ward Playground 


4.01 


Hoover School Area 


5 .00 


Whiting Boat House 


•5 



Approximate Water Frontage: 



Doty Island 


1,200 feet 


Riverside 


1,500 feet 


Kimberly Point 


870 feet 


Shattuck 


400 feet 


Water Street 


500 feet 


Washington 


1 50 feet 


Lake Shore Avenue 


2,256 feet 


Wisconsin Avenue 


500 feet 


Whiting Boat House 


84.6 feet 


Swimming pool & field 


653 feet 
8,113.6 feet 



92.85 



PARKS 



38.3 



'Recreation 

In 1 9 1 ] we find the first recorded expenditure for playground equip- 
ment — $15.51 for swings in Riverside Park. Three years later $50 was 
appropriated for tree removal and layout of baseball diamond on the 
Green. 

1916 saw appointment of Paul Coon, a public school physical edu- 
cation instructor, to conduct playground activities from June 12 to 
August 1. This must have been an unimpressive experiment, for 
nothing more is recorded concerning organized summer recreation till 
1926, when the Council turned down a formal request for a program to 
cost $3,500. 

In 1926, however, through Red Cross and private contributions, 
George Christoph was employed to conduct a summer program. This 
marks the beginning of the Playground Section of the Neenah Park & 
Recreation Department of today. 

Between 1926 and 1931 the financing of the annual summer pro- 
grams became the joint responsibility of the city and the Red Cross. 
In 1931 Annin Gerhardt took over as summer director. In that year, 
also, the first Pet and Hobby show was staged. Later Florence Ober- 
reich guided the summer program to new heights. 

The Neenah swimming pool and “Rec” building were completed 
and opened to the public in 1940, with Paul Stacker as Manager, and 
Ole Jorgensen as Pool Supervisor. This facility added color to the 
expanding recreational program. Pool attendance for that year was 
70,831 — while the indoor, all year program drew a patronage of 
22,142. 

The National Women’s Championships, staged in the Neenah pool 
during August of 1942, still lives in the memories of thousands of 
local residents. 

During the planning period, Ole Jorgensen did a thorough job of 
research on swimming pools, which facilitated the work of the archi- 
tect, Thomas E. Tallin adge. 

The property on which the pool is built was made available to the 
city by two citizens, C. B. Clark and S. F. Shattuck. 

Coming down to 1947, the property south of the pool and recreation 
building was developed as a lighted softball park. 



384 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 




Recreation Building and Swimming Pool. 



That year the total budget askings of the Park & Recreation Com- 
mission (including the swimming pool) were $44,456.26, with esti- 
mated receipts of $13,229.00 and net appropriation of tax monies of 
$31,227.25. 

Through the years, and particularly since early 1946, under the 
leadership of a full-time director, there has been steady development 
of a broad year-round program involving citizens of all ages. 

Paul Stacker was the first full-time director of pool and recreation. 
Bill Miller has been full-time recreational director since October 1, 
1948. 

Compiled by Dr. J. M. Donovan 



golf Qlubs 

Tributary to Neenah and Menasha are the country clubs and golf 
courses, all of which have a close relationship to life of the Twin Cities. 

d'he pioneer club, Riverview, of Appleton, is now surrounded by 
the growing city. When it was founded in the early years of the 20th 
century, it had a rural setting. 




PARK S 



385 



Butte ties Morts Golf Club, west of Appleton. 

Ridgeway — three miles west of Neenah. 

North Shore, located on the north shore of Lake Winnebago. 

The Appleton Municipal Golf Course and the Bridgewood course 
south of Neenah are in constant use by Twin City folk from May to 
October. 






“The Grand Loggery soon became a landmark for every traveler on the Fox- 
Wisconsin waterway. From Lake Winnebago the boathouse at the water’s edge, the 
trim log buildings with shining windows under the majestic elms and maples, sug- 
gested a scene in a fairy story. As one landed and approached the Loggery, the 
illusion grew. Surely none but a New England hand had planted the low sweetbriar 
under the windows, the sweet william, mignonette, nasturtiums, and heartsease be- 
side the latticed doorway. But the square hallway hung with fanciful Indian handi- 
work might have been a chieftain’s lodge. A papoose’s cradle hung by a broad beaded 
band, a warrior’s shirt — embroidered, fringed, and adorned with strings and wam- 
pum — baskets, trinkets, ceremonial attire, skins of otter, deer, and mink, crowded 
the small entrance.” 

From Chapter 18 of Alice Elizabeth Smith’s biography 
of James Duane Doty, State Historical Society of Wis- 
consin, copyright 1954 



ON PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE 



During World War II, under the leadership of an enterprising former 
citizen, Rudy Lotz, regular discussions were held by Directors of the 
Neenah-Menasha Chamber of Commerce on “ Post War ‘Planning." 
Lotz was clear-eyed on the upsurge in home and school building which 
would overtake us at war’s end. He visualized the growth of our city 
to the south and southwest. He and his committee urged, among other 
things, the immediate purchase of school property in the vicinity of 
what is now the Wilson school. Had that been done, the real estate on 
which the Wilson school stands would have cost the city 50 per cent 
less than its eventual purchase price. 

Although the city had a Planning Commission, it had never func- 
tioned as such, except during a brief time, in the early 1930’s, when 
Kimberly Stuart was chairman. Meanwhile, the “post war” planning 
group of the Chamber of Commerce organized itself into an informal 
Twin City Plans Committee, raising their funds privately, employing 
a qualified planner, and endeavoring to assist the cities and townships 
of Neenah and Menasha in revision of their outworn zoning statutes, 
resurveying their intercity street systems, and in other ways endeavor- 
ing to assist their hard-pressed councils and town boards to look ahead 
ten to twenty-five years. 

Chairman of this committee was “Bud” Durham, who was ideally 
suited to the job. Not only was he possessed of an engineering type of 
mind, but his residence was in Menasha and his business in Neenah. 
It had long become obvious to all that the Twin Cities were dependent 
on the cooperation of the adjoining townships of Menasha and Nee- 
nah. When “Bud” Durham died in 1952, the Chamber Committee 
was continued under the co-chairmanship of Morgan Wheeler and 
Frank Shattuck. Personnel of the Twin City Planning Committee 
was: 



386 



PLANNING 



3»7 



From Neenah From Menas ha 

S. F. Shattuck, Co-Chairman Morgan Wheeler, Co-Chairman 

John Tol verson Hayward Biggers 

D. K. Brown Konrad Tuchscherer 

A1 Staffeld John Pinkerton 

Charlotte McIntyre Armin Weber, Sr. 

Dr. J. L. Donovan 

This Committee resigned on August 12, 1954. We quote from their 
letter of resignation: 

“While our efforts have not been entirely bare of results, the persisting inability 
or unwillingness of the cities and townships of Menasha and Neenah to cooperate in 
planning the growth of this area prompts us to tender our resignations at this time. 

“In thus presenting our reasons for resignation, we would make clear that we 
recognize the human limitations of our city and township administrations. 

“Since the war, our cities and adjacent areas have experienced a surging growth, 
and with growth came mounting time demands on public officials. Every person on 
these boards and councils has a full-time job or occupation. They give to public 
business marginal time that other citizens reserve for family life or social pleasures. 

“It is our conviction that the volume of city and township business has outgrown 
the capacity of elected officials to handle it on marginal time. Certain it is that the 
pressure of current problems crowds out attention to what the city and area growth 
pattern is to be five to twenty-five years from now. These are problems requiring 
time, thought, and study. They are of more significance to the oncoming generation 
than are the immediate problems of today. 

“Our resignation, effective at once, is therefore submitted in the hope that anew 
approach may be found to carry forward this much-needed activity of city and area 
planning.” 

Time for Reflection and a Perspective fook 

There then followed six months of quiet. Mr. Kenneth Schellie, of 
Metropolitan Planners, Inc., who had advised with the former Cham- 
ber of Commerce Committee, pointed out the way in which the Fox 
Valley area from Kaukauna to Neenah is bound together by economic, 
social, industrial and commercial ties. 

The area involves a fast-growing region of four cities, three villages 
and seven townships, with more than 100,000 population. 

At about this time, John Scanlon, who had served Menasha well as 
Mayor, retired from that position. John believed in the economy of a 
planned future for our Fox Valley. To shorten the story, John Scanlon 
called the elected heads of the fourteen municipalities to meet in Kau- 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



kauna in January, 1955. A plan of organization, prepared by Mr. 
Schellie, was presented at that meeting. Many subsequent meetings 
were held up and down the Valley during 1955 and into 1956, culmi- 
nating in a climactic meeting in Little Chute on May 3, 1956. On that 
day the following nine municipalities became charter members of the 
Fox Valley Regional Planning Commission: 

Cities: Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kaukauna 
Villages: Kimberly, Little Chute, Combined Locks 
Townships: Menasha and Neenah 

Elected by acclamation as first Chairman of the Commission was 
Don Colburn, a Neenah man who, as Secretary of the Neenah-Me- 
nasha Chamber of Commerce, had worked closely with its Planning 
Committee. 




Nothing ever succeeds which exuberant spirits 
have not helped to produce. Nietzsche 



POST OFFICE 



Though there are no records available to substantiate the claim or 
to give early locations of the post office, P. V. Lawson, in his History 
of Winnebago (founty, states that, “the post office was established in 
Winnebago Rapids in 1844, and Harrison Reed was appointed post- 
master.” 

Mrs. M. E. Barnett recalls that “before the Pettibone Block and 
Russell House fire in 1 883, there was a post office in the rear part of the 

present First National Bank build- 
ing. The evening mail that came into 
Neenah on the C&NW train was 
delivered at the post office about 
8:00 p.m. Stores were open every 
evening for business then, so all of 
the business men would hurry to the 
post office to pick up their mail, 
causing a great deal of activity on 
‘Main Street.’ Herm Schooley was 
the post office clerk, and he had everything packed, ready to vacate 
if necessary, due to the fire.” 

About the ’90s, it is known that the post office was located in the 
present ‘ ‘Jfews-J^ecord ’ ’ building. 

City delivery service started in Neenah on December 1, 1899. There 
were four carriers: Allen Montgomery, Julius Jorgensen, Henry 
Sheerin and James Sorenson. Cliff Lansing and Eli Defnet were substi- 
tute carriers. Mr. George Scott, a rural carrier, had been carrying for 
an unknown period before this date. 

The present post office was authorized in 1916. It was constructed 
by the Treasury Department (William A. McAdoo, Secretary), as all 
federal buildings were at that time, and was subsequently turned 
over to the Postal Department. The cornerstone laying took place in 
1917, and the structure came into use on April 21, 1918. 

At the present time there are ten city delivery routes (foot routes), 
one mounted route (by auto), two parcel post routes and two rural 
routes. 




U. S. Government Post Office. 



389 



390 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



t 




About 1896, when the post office was in the building at corner of West Wisconsin Avenue and Church 
Street, presently occupied by the News Record. Left to right: Jim Brown, postmaster; Charles Poepke, 
clerk; Louis DuBois, Jr., clerk; George LeTourneux, assistant postmaster. 



In 1956, with the tremendous increase in population, it was neces- 
sary to enlarge the present post office. Changes were made to facilitate 
loading and unloading of mail trucks at the rear of the building, and 
a driveway put in from Columbian Avenue through to Franklin Ave- 
nue. At the same time, property was purchased on each side of the 
driveway, and is being used for public parking. 

Local postal receipts, starting with 1923, at 5-year intervals, are: 



>923—? 57,277 
1928 — 72,060 

1933— 72,924 

1938— 84,983 



>943 $>4>, 7°3 

1948— 155,828 

>953— 197,236 
>957— 353,148 



Compiled by George F. Rasmussen , Postmaster 




NEENAH CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN 

RED CROSS 



The Neenah chapter of the American Red Cross was organized April 
30, 1917. The officers were as follows: 

C. B. Clark, Chairman E. J. Lachman, Secretary 

W. Z. Stuart, Vice-Chairman F. E. Ballister, Treasurer 

The Executive Committee were: 

1 year: S. F. Shattuck, Miss Jennie Frazer, Miss Robertson, Mrs. J. A. Jamison 

2 year: Rev. C. W. Heywood, H. K. Babcock, Mrs. John P. Shiells, Rev. 

D. C. Jones 

3 year: Mrs. T. D. Smith, Mayhew Mott, Mrs. W. Z. Stuart, Dr. I. E. Ozanne 

The Chairman, Mr. Clark, appointed a membership and working 
committee. By January, 1919, they had a membership of 3,841 adults 
and 968 juniors, totalling 4,809. 

The working committee makes hundreds of garments, consisting of 
sweaters, wristlets, stockings, and also layettes for the servicemen’s 
wives. 

The home service department was and still is busy with veterans 
and their families, plus all the local service they are called on to render 
when necessary. 

A life-saving program was started in the summer of 1923. The first 
instructor was George Christoph. This also was the first year of pro- 
viding Christmas baskets and clothing where needed. 

The Chapter started the recreational program in the summer of 
3927 and continued it until the City took it over in 1940. The Chap- 
ter has, however, continued to pay a substantial part of the cost. 

During the depression years, from 1931 for nearly a decade, the 
Chapter worked with the Mayor’s Committee to give assistance to 
all who needed it during those years. 

The Blood Program came into existence in 1950 as a part of the 
National Red Cross policy and program. Leon Tolversen has given 



39i 



39 2 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A II 



tine leadership, since its beginning, as Chairman. This Program makes 
blood available to any resident of Neenah without charge, no matter 
where the person may be in this country at the time a blood trans- 
fusion is required. The only charge is for hospital services and mate- 
rials where the transfusion takes place. The cost to the Neenah Chapter 
for this program is approximately $1,500.00 a year. 

The Chapter carries on an extensive Red Cross Nursing Program 
under the supervision of Mrs. C. G. R. Johnson. This includes instruc- 
tion in home nursing to residents of Neenah, and to the students in 
the High School, who take the instruction as a part of the regular cur- 
riculum. The local Chapter finances all the cost of supplies for these 
courses. 

l'he Canteen Service, under the direction of Mrs. bred Bentzen, is 
a regular part of the local Red Cross Program. It prepares and serves 
the food at the Blood Bank. It also serves during times of serious fires 
or community emergencies, and at special meetings when food is 
served. 

The Gray Ladies Program has been well developed under the lead- 
ership of Mrs. C. G. R. Johnson. Members of this Department spend 
several hours each month at the Winnebago State Hospital in occu- 
pational and recreational therapy. Mrs. T. C. Epps is Chairman of 
Volunteers and Production and is in charge of all Volunteer groups 
including Gray Ladies, Blood Bank and Veterans Hospitals. 

Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Clark have been largely instrumental in initiat- 
ing the building up and promoting of the local Red Cross Chapter, 
and much of its success is due to them. Mrs. Clark is still active as 
Executive Secretary. Several other people ought to be mentioned who 
have served long and well since the Chapter was organized: Norton 
J. Williams and M. W. Schalk served during the difficult years of the 
Second World War, Mr. Williams as Chapter Chairman and Mr. 
Schalk as Fund Drive Chairman. Dr. J. M. Donovan has been actively 
connected with the local Red Cross activities, as a Director and other- 
wise, more than 35 years. Charles J. Madson has served in like man- 
ner for more than 30 years. The same is true of Mrs. J. E. Gillingham. 
Ambrose Owen has been Treasurer for more than 15 years. Mrs. C. F. 
Hedges was Secretary for 9 years. 



RED CROSS 



393 



'['he Neenah Chapter has always gone over the top in the Fund 
Drive and has responded generously to special appeals for emer- 
gency purposes. 

1957-58 officers are: Mrs. C. B. Clark, Executive Secretary; Robert 
Wood, Chapter Chairman; Dr. J. J. Bouressa, Vice Chairman; Mrs. 
Armin Gerhardt, Secretary and Ambrose Owen, Treasurer. 

Submitted by Charles Maiison 



SCHOOL HISTORY* 



COMPILED BY MRS. HELEN L. ROBERTS 

According to a record kept by Superintendent Moulton, in 1847 a 
small frame building was erected on the Ridge Road about a mile 
south of Neenah for a grocery store. This project was abandoned, and 
during that summer a public school was opened there, under Miss 
Carolyn Boynton, with twelve pupils. The teacher received $1.50 a 
week, and boarded “around.” This was the beginning of the Neenah 
public school system. 

The first school house in the city of Neenah was an old log cabin 
near the public square, about where Immanuel Evangelical Church 
now stands. This public square is now “The Green.” A man named 
William Dennison taught this school in 1847-48. 

Establishment of System — Officials and ‘Buildings 

The city school system was established in 1875, with Mr. T. T. Moul- 
ton as Superintendent, and 660 pupils attending. Mr Moulton was 
elected by the voters and to act, ex-officio, with the Board of Educa- 
tion. There were seven buildings: The Brown School, later called the 
Mixed School, which stood on the northeast corner of Caroline and 
Isabella Streets; the Island School; the “Point” School, a one-room 
brick structure, housing the first, second and third grades, located on 
the west side of what is now known as Linden Court, then Short 
Street; the Fourth Ward School; and three buildings for grade and 
high school on the lot facing Walnut Street, bounded by Franklin 
and Columbian Avenues. The high school building was at the front 
of the lot on Walnut Street. Between 1875 and 1878 a new brick build- 
ing was built in the Fourth Ward on Washington Street, now Adams, 
between Harrison and Van Streets. This was a two-story, two-room 
building holding four grades and heated by a huge wood-burning 
stove on each floor. Miss Isa Brown was the first principal, and Miss 
Marie Bergstrom taught on the lower floor. 

* Since the writing of this article, the new ward divisions of the city have gone into effect. 



.194 




Top: Neenah Senior HighSchool, 
constructed in 1929. 

Center: New gymnasium added to 
High School in 19 55. 

Bottom: Academic addition added 
to High School in 1953. 




Roosevelt School 




Washington School 






Kimberly School 









Lincoln School 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



398 

On March 20, 1879, the Neenah Council appropriated 515,600 for 
a new First Ward School. The foundation was to he of stone from the 
Neenah quarry and pressed brick from the Neenah brick yard, like 
those in the Russell House. With the furnace and equipment, the cost 
came to $25,000. This building is the present Washington School, 
standing on the same lot as the old high school, but farther back from 
the walk on Walnut Street. A remodeling project was carried out in 
the summer of 1935, at which time the cupola housing the old school 
bell was removed. 

A new school was needed on the Island, so in 1888 the council ap- 
propriated $10,000 for a Third Ward School on East Forest Avenue, 
between First and Second Streets. Later the amount came to $10,173 
and the agreement was that payments were to be made each month 
up to 85% of the work done and materials furnished, and the remain- 
der paid on completion of the work. There were six classrooms. 
Mrs. Ida Montgomery was the first principal. 

On January 12, 1893, the Mayor stated a special tax levy would be 
required to meet the expense of building a new Second Ward School. 
The School Board, with J. N. Stone as Superintendent, had requested 
$15,000, but possibly $20,000 might be needed to complete the build- 
ing. As there were approximately 2,000 children of school age, with 571 
in the Second Ward, the School Board was unanimously in favor of 
the improvement, but the Mayor was afraid the taxpayers might not 
be. However, when one alderman stated a new school was absolutely 
necessary when basements were utilized for classrooms, on January 
19, 1893, an appropriation of $15,000 was made for the erection of a 
new Second Ward building on the northwest corner of Washington, 
now Adams Street, and Isabella Street. Phis is now the Lincoln 
School. A special tax of 1% was made to meet the expense. A resolu- 
tion to this effect was adopted on February 1, 1893. The new school 
had six classrooms, and was to be built of brick, with Duck Creek cut 
stone trimming, and Washington state lumber. Mrs. Isa LeTourneux 
was the first principal. 

As our school enrollments increased and the city grew, more schools 
were needed for the pupils. In 1923 the old Third Ward School was 
torn down and a new one (of red brick and cut stone) built in its 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



399 



place, the present Roosevelt School on E. Forest Avenue. The first 
principal was Miss Maud Dolbear. In 1927 the old Fourth Ward 
School was condemned, as the ceiling in the upstairs room had devel- 
oped a curve, and the new school, now the McKinley School, was 
built on the same location. Mrs. Hugh Roberts was the first principal. 
The new building was built just behind and circling the old one, so 
classes could continue until the end of the school year in June, 1927. 
Then the old brick building was torn down. To avoid accident, no 
recesses were given the children during this period, but school was 
dismissed 15 minutes early, much to the joy of all! 

As the First Ward School was becoming crowded, it was decided by 
the Council, in 1906, to build a separate building to house the high 
school and vocational school students, who were attending the F'irst 
Ward School. This was the Kimberly School, on South Commercial 
Street. The first principal was E. M. Beeman. At present, the seventh 
and eighth grade students attend this school. Mr. Harvey Leaman is 
principal. 

In 1928 plans were made for the present high school on Division 
Street. This building was to take care of the four high school grades, 
with their Manual Arts, Athletic, Home Economics and Commercial 
Departments, as well as the Vocational School. This new building 
was opened in the fall of 1929. An academic addition was added to it 
and opened in November, 1953. The old high school gymnasium could 
no longer take care of the Physical Educational classes, and, in 1955, 
a new addition was made to house the Athletic Department. 

The city was pushing outward, and, in 1939, two additions were 
made to the McKinley School in the Fourth Ward. The W ilson School, 
on Higgins Avenue in the First Ward, was built in 1948. This school 
was opened in September, 1949, and a large addition to it was built in 
1952. Miss Evelyn Van Beek was, and is, the first principal. 

Owing to land annexed to the city, McKinley School was over- 
crowded, and a beautiful, modern school, the Hoover School, was 
erected on Cecil Street, between Hunt and Zemlock Avenues, in 1953. 
Miss Blanche McIntyre is the principal. In 1957, six rooms are being 
added. 

Again the rising school population demands more room. A new 



400 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 




I nterior view of Taft School. 



Interior view of Wilson 
School. 




Modern Hoover School serving the 7th ward. In the fall of 1957, the still more modern Taft School 
opened its doors to children of this fastest growing section of the city. 



* — i 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



4OI 



school, the Taft, was opened in the fall of 1957, with Mr. Albert Goer- 
litz as principal. This beautiful building is on Western Avenue. 

Naming of School buildings 

The school buildings were originally called First Ward, Second Ward, 
etc., according to the ward in which they were located. After the first 
World War, the American Legion obtained permission to rename the 
buildings after our Presidents. The First Ward School was renamed 
Washington; the Second Ward, Lincoln; the Third Ward, Roosevelt; 
and the Fourth Ward, McKinley. When a new school was built in the 
First Ward, it was named Wilson; the new one in the Seventh Ward, 
Hoover; and the new one just built in the Fourth Ward, Taft. 

The Kimberly School was named after Mr. J. A. Kimberly, who 
was president of the school board when the building was erected. 

S uperintendency 

At first, the Superintendent of Schools was elected by the people 
and did not have to possess certain certified educational qualifica- 
tions. He ran for office and was not required to teach classes or visit 
the teachers. About the turn of the century, this was changed. The 
Superintendent was chosen by the Board of Education. He had to 
have a degree in education, and preferably some experience in the 
field. Gradually his position grew to a supervision of all teachers, 
teachings, buildings and conduct of the schools. 

Mr. E. M. Beeman came to Neenah in 1903 as the first educational 
superintendent. When the Kimberly School became the High School, 
he was the first Superintendent and Principal. Athisdeathin 1917, 
Mr. C. F. Hedges took over his position, and continued as Superin- 
tendent of Schools, until his resignation in 1946, when Mr. Harold B. 
Mennes took over, and is now serving as Superintendent. 

Mr. James K. Ballantyne was the first full-time High School princi- 
pal in 1929. Mr. Harley Borgen is the present principal. 

First High School (graduates 

The first graduating class of the Neenah High School was that of 
June 29, 1877. The commencement exercises were held in Schuetzen 



402 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Hall, which stood on the northeast corner of the present Commercial 
Street and Columbian Avenue. There were nine graduates: 



Jennie Cook 
Nellie Herrick 
Della Boardman 
Kva Leavens 
Jackson Tullar 



Minnie Git tins 
Della Brown 
Mamie Ford 
Fannie Wheeler 



The High School principal was H. A. Hobart, whose salary was 
$120 per month. He had two assistants in the High School, Miss 
M. G. Van O’Linda and Miss Julia Bacon. There were ten teachers 
in the grades, five in the Intermediate Department and five in the 
Primary Department. The total cost of school operation for that year 
was $8,000. 

There were only eleven grades in the school system at this time, 
but in the fall of 1877, another grade was added to the high school, 
making twelve in all. The class graduating in 1878 included Miss 
Anna Proctor, who had remained in school to take the extra year. 
Since then the graduating classes have varied in size from two in 
1880 to 204 in the class of 1956. In 1881 the class graduated from the 
new High School, now the Washington School. There was only one 




Neenah High School, about 1896. Mr. Conant, Superintendent of Schools, center, second row. 




SCHOOL HISTORY 



403 



member, Ben Davis, who was persuaded to postpone his party to the 
next year, 1882, when four girls would graduate. These four were: 
Helen Wheeler, Grace Wright Brown, Lutie Olnistead and Ida 
Krueger Barnett. 

Forming of Kindergarten 

For many years children below the first grade, who attended school, 
were said to be in the Primary Grade, but in 1898 a kindergarten was 
established in Neenah. Children from the First and Third Wards 
went to Dana Club Hall, where Miss Sadie Johnson was the teacher. 
Mr. Watts, father of then Chief of Police Watts, who was the janitor 
at the Third Ward School, walked these children to school each day. 

At the Lincoln School, which children from Second and Fourth 
Wards attended, Miss Eva Treleven from Omro was the teacher. Her 
parents came each weekend on Friday to take her home, and one of 
the delights of the children was the big St. Bernard dog they brought 
with them. The dog would lie quietly under the piano (it was an old- 
fashioned square) until school was dismissed. 

Elementary Supervisor 

In 1937 the School Board decided the school enrollment was getting 
so large in the elementary grades, that a supervisor should be engaged 
to help with the work. Mrs. Laura Ulery was hired and served four 
years. Then Miss Mauree Applegate (Mrs. Wilbur Clack) came for 
a brief period and left to become a teacher at LaCrosse State Teachers’ 
College. Miss Mary Willits took her place and is still here, doing an 
excellent job, faithfully and conscientiously. 

« Auxiliary Organizations and Interests 

special education — In March, 1920, a room for children who had 
had tubercular contacts, or who for other reasons needed special care, 
was opened in the auditorium of the City Hall. It was called the 
“Fresh Air School,” as the children were given a rest period after 
their noon lunch. At this time they were bundled up and all the 
windows opened. Miss Leah Anvootz was the teacher. A summer 
camp, called the “Fresh Air Camp” was established on the shore of 



4°4 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Lake Winnebago about the same time, for summer care of many of 
these children. The school was maintained until the spring of 1926. 

A Special Education room for children who had difficulty in learn- 
ing, due to emotional difficulties or speech defects, was established in 
1931 in the Kimberly School. Miss Marge Wegman was the first 
teacher, with fifteen students from all grades. In the fall of 1948, as 
the need for this type of education was greater and more recognized, 
another room in the basement of the Lincoln School was started under 
Miss Mary Burke, with nine children. This room took the primary 
children, ages 6-10 years. Those children from ages 10-16 years 
attended the Kimberly School. At the age of 16 they go on to high 
school. In 1948 there were thirteen children who entered high school 
under this program. Mr. Kenneth Poulton is the part-time high 
school teacher. 

Neenah schools are not fiscally independent, and state aid limits 
the enrollment in these rooms because of the specialized work. 

There are many educable children with minor speech difficulties, 
for whom special help is needed, so in 1947, a Speech Correction 
teacher, Mrs. Arvo Vaurio, was engaged. This work is still continued, 
with the teacher visiting the various schools twice a week for her 
work. 

In the spring of 1952 an additional need for special teaching was 
recognized. Many children, due to illness, such as rheumatic fever, 
accidents or other difficulties, were obliged to lose long periods of 
school attendance. For these a home-bound course under qualified 
teachers was inaugurated. 

F'or many years pupils have been sent from Neenah to the Morgan 
Orthopedic School at Appleton, and to the School for the Deaf at 
Oshkosh. 

Neenah-Menasha association for retarded children — As the 
public was learning to recognize the fact that retarded children could 
be helped to use the abilities they had if given proper training, an 
association for this purpose was formed in Neenah-Menasha in 1956, 
with Mrs. F. J. Liebl as President. A class, sponsored by the associa- 
tion, is held in the First Congregational Church in Menasha. Mrs. 
John Hanchett, a special education teacher, is in charge. 



SCHOOL HISTOR Y 



405 



In Neenah a step forward was taken when a room in the Wilson 
School was opened in September, 1957, for Trainables. Phis special 
education room is supervised and partly financed by the State De- 
partment of Public Instruction. There are nine children, between 
the ages of seven and fourteen, attending. A half-day session is the 
recommended time for these children, and Miss Janet Evans teaches 
them from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Miss Evans is specially certified for this 
work, the aim of which is to give the children skills of social compe- 
tency, rather than academic skills. 

SCHOOL NURSE AND HEALTH PROTECTION 111 I 9 I 2 the first School 

nurse, Mrs. Florence Lee, was appointed by the Health Committee 
of the Neenah Council. She served for three years. There have been 
only five nurses since that day: Sally Conner Arnemann, Ada Garvey, 
Evelyn Scholl, Beth Lewis and Thelma Davis. Their duties at first 
were concerned only with the school children; holding clinics for im- 
munizations; visiting the homes of sick children; inspecting the chil- 
dren for communicable disease, etc. As the school population in- 
creased and more was learned about the close link between the health 
of the public at large and the school children, the school nurse gradu- 
ally became the city nurse, as she is known today. 

The health of Neenah school children is carefully watched. All 
children are weighed and measured periodically. Vision screening and 
rechecking is done in grades i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11. Hearing is 
checked by audiometer tests given in grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and n. 
Immunization and booster shots are given for diphtheria, tetanus and 
whooping cough. Small pox vaccinations and tuberculin tests are 
administered. Iodine treatments are given for goiter prevention. 

In 1932 an Oral Hygienist, Miss Kathleen Hogan, was selected to 
look after the dental needs of the children. Two inspections a year are 
held, and each week two clinics are held, various dentists giving 
appointments. This program was due to the efforts of Dr. J. M. Dono- 
van and Mrs. Donald Shepard. Members of the VNA Auxiliary 
transport school children to and from the dentists’ offices for their 
appointments. Miss Dorothy Keune is the present Oral Hygienist. In 
1950 fluoridation of the water supply in both Neenah and Menasha 
resulted from this program. 



406 a history of neenah 

zAims 

The belief of the Neenah educational system is that it has: 

“A responsibility for helping boys and girls 
To be good citizens. 

To do critical thinking. 

To have adequate skills. 

To develop understandings, appreciations, and attitudes which include those 
moral values which are important in our culture and our heritage. 

To make worth-while use of their leisure time. 

To be physically and mentally healthy.” 

In High School the curriculum consists of fifty formal courses. 
Basic requirements for graduation include four credits in social 
studies; three in English; one in science; and one in mathematics — 
a total of nine. The remaining six credits may be chosen from elective 
courses. A fine selection of vocational subjects is offered, and a 
student completing training in some areas is ready for employment 
upon graduation. 

As pupils enter High School, they are given a Registration Bulletin, 
which contains the Course of Study. This Course of Study lists the 
requirements for each of the four High School classes, according to 
the course selected, besides those for all pupils. There are courses 
offered in Business Education, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, 
General Course and a College Preparatory Course. Requirements for 
college entrance are carefully explained. And, by the way, Neenah has 
been on the accredited list of the North Central Association since 
1907. In this bulletin the various subjects are explained and the 
purpose for their being given. Both pupil and parents are requested 
to study this bulletin in order to map out the most helpful course. 
There is even a space for parents’ signature for approval of the course 
chosen. 

Music ‘Program 

In the early 1900’s a music supervisor, Miss Leona Reynolds, had 
been engaged to teach vocal music in the grades, or singing, as it was 
called. In 1937 Miss Ruth Roper was engaged as a special music 
teacher, in charge of all vocal music throughout the grades, and glee 
clubs and choruses in both Senior High and Kimberly schools. As 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



407 



enrollment grew, an assistant was hired, so there are now two vocal 
teachers, one for the grades and one for Kimberly and Senior High 
Schools. 

In 1929 Mrs. Helen Stuart paid the salary for Mr. Lester Mais to be 
engaged as a Band Director for the High School. She helped purchase 
needed instruments, and, in addition, purchased a house so the 
Director would have a place to live. Under Mr. Mais, the band 
program became very popular, so shortly a Junior Band was organized 
for eighth grade pupils. There are now three bands at High School — - 
the Varsity, the Junior and the Beginners. At Kimberly School there 
are four bands, two Beginners in seventh grade, and two Juniors in 
eighth grade. By the spring of 1956, Mr. Mais asked to be relieved of 
the responsibility of the Varsity Band. Mr. Robert O. Gruetzman was 
engaged to have over-all supervision of the music program of the 
Neenah Schools. A string program, violin, was started in the fall of 
1956 in the fourth and fifth grades throughout the city, for both 
class and orchestra work. Mr. Gruetzman instructs these groups, as 
well as the Senior Band. 

Art 

For many years art was combined with music, under one teacher. 
Finally art was dropped from the curriculum. About ten years ago 
it was felt that there was so much latent talent among students, that 
a special teacher was engaged to teach art. As talent developed, 
another teacher was engaged for Senior High and Kimberly Schools. 

Home £conomics — Vocational School 

A Home Economics Course was established in 1896. This course, 
called Domestic Science at that time, was established largely through 
the influence of Mrs. Helen Cheney Kimberly. She was very much 
interested in woman’s place in the home being useful and scientific 
as well as ornamental. She said if a man believed better cattle could 
be produced by scientific feeding and raising, so could children, and a 
man should be interested in how his children were fed! But the City 
Council thought girls should be taught cooking at home by their 
mothers. However, Mrs. Kimberly finally convinced them this was not 



4 o8 



A HISTORY OF NEENAII 




Domestic Science Class cf Neenah High School — i8q6. Front row, left to right: Mary Ulrich, Ethel Brown, 
Tracy Smith, Mrs. Jennie Jamieson, teacher, Vina Olson Reynolds, Gertrude Willis Sawyer, Rose Roland 
Hughes. Back row, left to right: Elizabeth Neustetter Bruncke, Delle LeTourneux Roberts, Alice 
Kerwin, Mary Harth, Bonnie Kimball, Leila Austin, Clara Scott. 



necessarily being done. Furthermore, mothers were not scientifically 
trained. They agreed to give it a trial if she would provide a room. 
This she did, by putting a stove and tables equipped with cooking 
utensils in the Mixed School. On August 17 of that year Mrs. Jennie 
Jamieson was hired at $22.50 per month for five months to teach 
cooking classes. In 1897 the term was extended to 9! months, from 
September 5 to June 8. At first a student had only two years of cook- 
ing, but in 1898 a third year was given and a class was graduated. 

In 19 1 1 a state law was passed authorizing a vocational school, and 
a State Board was set up to administrate it. Before this, Neenah had 
typical departments of an industrial and commercial character in 
high school, and manual training in both grade and high school. On 
April 8, 1912, at a meeting of the Board of Education, Comr. J. J. 
Leutenegger for Special Committee, presented the names of M. W. 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



409 



Krueger, J. C. Kimberly, Walter Osborne and Wm. Jackson, two 
being employers and two employees, together with the Supt. of 
Schools, E. M. Beeman, to compose an Industrial Commission, with- 
out pay. This was passed. On August 14, 1912, the name of W. C. 
Wing was approved to fill the vacancy caused by resignation of Mr. 
M. W. Krueger, who was unable to serve due to press of business. On 
August 21, 1912, the Board of Industrial Education met and Mr. 
J. C. Kimberly was elected chairman and Supt. E. M. Beeman, 
secretary. On May 15, 1913, at a meeting of the Board, it was pro- 
posed to organize an Industrial School. This was the first organized 
Industrial and Adult Educational School. After a meeting with the 
finance committee of the City Council, the establishment was carried 
out. 

At the present time a pupil must attend public school until 18 years 
of age, unless at the age of 16 he can prove he is gainfully employed. 
Then he is required to attend vocational school one day a week until 
1 8 years of age. 

In 1938 Mrs. Irma Kyle was hired to teach Home Economics in the 
High School. Knowing her previous success in adult education, she 
was asked, in the middle of the year, to take over vocational work. 
At the time she was teaching clothing two nights a week in night 
school, and Miss Ruth Sawyer, foods teacher at Kimberly School, had 
a night class in food. Classes in knitting and clothing were organized 
and met in various rooms of the grade schools. 

In May, 1939, the Homemakers Club was organized, with Mrs. 
Kenneth Harwood as President. Meetings were held in the City Hall 
auditorium, Public Library and Neenah Club, wherever space could 
be found. 

At first, exhibitions were held for the members showing work ac- 
complished during the year, but due to difficulty of transportation 
when lamp shade making and slipcovering of furniture became part 
of the work, and also due to lack of space, these exhibitions were 
abandoned. Now TV shows are held. The first one, in March, 1956, 
was shown on Channel 5 in “At Home With Peg Spoor.” Mrs. Ella 
Wilson gave a demonstration of roll making. 

In 1955-56 there were 22 afternoon and 29 evening classes, 51 in 



410 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



all, in adult homemaking. 667 persons were enrolled, some of them 
men, in such classes as landscaping and upholstering. Classes were 
conducted in leathercraft, jewelry, foods, nutrition, lamp shades, 
draperies, hooked rugs, decorative painting and fur remodeling. 

Mrs. Irma Kyle is full-time teacher, with fifteen part-time teachers. 

Food Nutrition is also taught in the Practical Nurses course at 
Theda Clark Hospital by vocational school teachers. 



School Population Soars 

Student population soared in the year 1956-57. On opening day of 
school in September, 1957, there were 3,597 boys and girls enrolled 
in the public schools. For the first time in history, high school enroll- 
ment was over 1,000, as there were 1,014 boys and girls present on 
opening day. Twenty-five new teachers were welcomed to the Public 
School teaching staff, making a total of 124 teachers in our public 
school system. The parochial schools had 897 pupils. 



Twenty-Five Year Teachers 

In 1951 the Neenah Teachers’ Association decided recognition should 
be given to all teachers in the Neenah schools, who had taught for 
a period of 25 years or more. At the annual spring banquet, held at 
Hotel Athearn, in Oshkosh, pins were given to those teachers. They 
were also presented with a Certificate of Recognition of Service from 
the Neenah Board of Education, and one from the State Superintend- 
ent of Schools, Mr. George Watson. 

The following year the Kiwanis Club gave a recognition dinner for 
these teachers, who were given gold pins, inscribed “25 Years of 
Service,” and an Honor Certificate. The Kiwanis has continued this 
practice and every year entertains all teachers who have reached 
these years of service. As a teacher reaches the 25 year mark, a pin 
and certificate is presented to the teacher at the dinner. The following 
are ”25 year” teachers in Neenah (*indicates those teachers who have 
taught 25 years in the Neenah system). 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



4 II 



*Gordon /\lbert 
Thora Anderson 
*Mary Baird (deceased) 
*Mary Brandsmark (retired) 
’“Carl Christensen (retired) 
Edith Cumming 
*George F. Christoph 
*Maud Dolbear (retired) 
*Jean Fraser (deceased) 
*Armin Gerhard t 
Margaret Griffiths 
Elizabeth Gotham 
*C. F. Hedges (deceased) 
*Nell Hubbard (retired) 
*Edna Mae Harris (retired) 
Elizabeth Hughes 
*01e Jorgensen 
*Katharene Kafer 
*Fannybelle Kiser 
M a r ga r e t K u c h e n be r g 
*Anna Kleinhans (retired) 



Harvey Leaman 
*Isa LeTourneux (deceased) 

* Lester Mais 

*Helen McDermott (deceased 
*Nellie McDonnell (deceased) 
Harold B. Mennes 
*Janet Menning 
*Hannah Natwick (retired) 

*Ruth Nielsen 
Josephine O’Mark 
Arthur Faff 
Helene Peterson 

*Minna Hanson Petersen (retired) 
Kenneth Poulton 
*A1 Poellinger 
*Helen L. Roberts (retired) 
Margaret Sambs 
*Evelyn Van Beek 
*Ivan Williams 
Mary Willi ts 
Edwin Zenisek 



To the list must be added the names of Clara Patzel and Castella 
Beisenstein, who have faithfully served in the office of the High 
School for twenty-five years or more. 

It is important that the physical aspect of the schools should be 
well cared for, and we have the following who have faithfully seen to 
that: 

Mr. Frank Merkley Mr. Chris Peterson (deceased) 

Mr. Emil Danielsen (deceased) 



School Hoard 

The history of Neenah Public Schools would not be complete without 
mention of the School Boards of Education, which have helped make 
the system grow to its present high standards. Space will not permit 
giving the names of all who have contributed so generously of their 
time and efforts, but there are a few who have served many years in 
the past and some who are still serving. 

In the days when the school commissioners were elected to represent 



412 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



their ward and not the city at large, we find the names of J. A. Kim- 
berly, for whom Kimberly School is named; C. B. Clark, who served 
as President of the Board; D. L. Kimberly, J. J. Leutenegger, L. J. 
Pinkerton, Dr. L. J. McCrary, C. H. Velte, Dr. J. P. Canavan, Mrs. 
Helen K. Stuart, Norton J. Williams and Mrs. Jay Gillingham. 

Coming down a few years later we find Mr. Leo Schubart, who 
served as President for many years; R. J. Sund, President since 1949 — 
Neenah citizens will never appreciate or express the debt of gratitude 
they owe to Roy Sund for his far-seeing and sacrificial service during 
the explosive post-war period of our city’s growth (Mr. Sund an- 
nounced his retirement from the board in January, 1958); Dr. R. H. 
Quade, Thad C. Epps, Gordon Mortenson, George Hrubecky, Frank 
Hochholzer, Mrs. lone McConnell, R. D. Molzow and Mrs. Marion 
Toilette. 

The Board of Vocational Education also contains the names of 
many of the faithful: J. W. Bergstrom, one of the first to serve, Henry 
Young, George I,. Madson, Nathan Bergstrom, James Keating, 
Albrecht Gross, Einer Nielsen, Melvin Redlin, John Neubauer and 
Alan Adrian. 

School Tapers 

In 1895 a school periodical called The Argosy was established to 
provide a method by which the literary ability of the high school 
student could be developed. It was published at various times during 
the year, with a special commencement issue. The price was 5^ per 
copy, or 35^ per year. With financial difficulty of publication increas- 
ing after a few years, it was discontinued. In 1919 the first volume of 
an annual, The Qouncil Tree , was published. This was continued 
until 1922, and was the first annual put out by a high school student 
staff. 

After the new high school was built in 1929, there were apparently 
no school publications. Then a school paper, The Qub , with a duly- 
elected editorial staff, was started and is now in flourishing condition, 
being a semi-monthly publication and primarily a student endeavor. 

The annual is now called The pocket and is published by the staff 



SCHOOI. HISTORY 



4 T 3 



each year shortly before commencement. The first "Rocket was pub- 
lished in 1937. 

High School Organizations 

With the many worth-while extra curricular activities provided at 
Neenah High School, it can be understood why we have so many fine 
young people coming forth. There is almost no interest of young people 
which is not provided for in some club or group. 

One of the earliest organizations was the Conservation Club, under 
the guidance of Mr. Armin Gerhardt. This club is interested in the 
conservation of our natural resources. Rabbits are trapped during the 
wintertime and turned over to the State Conservation Department. 
Members attend Trees for Tomorrow Camp. 

The Biology Club, under Mr. John Gundlach, attracts those in- 
terested in plant and animal life. 

The Science Club, under Mr. Leonard Krause, is a hobby and 
interest group. This group has “ham” radio artists, amateur photog- 
raphers and other future scientists. 

The Thespians, under Mr. Kenneth Anderson, takes care of those 
with aspirations for the stage. They present excellent plays each year. 

Books are not forgotten. The Library Club, with Mr. Charles Buck 
to guide, helps in maintaining the school library. 

Those who are interested in languages have both a Latin and a 
Spanish Club under Miss Fannybelle Kiser. One of their highlights is 
a Roman banquet done in authentic style. 

The Home Fxonomics Club, under Miss Helen Firkus, not only 
interests future homemakers, but at Christmas-time provides a tree, 
gifts and a party for children in the primary grades who need a little 
cheer. 

Mr. George Christoph with the Safety Club is helping reduce ac- 
cidents, not only with automobiles, but bicycles and all traffic hazards. 

If you are interested in a printer’s work, Mr. A 1 Poellinger has the 
Printers’ Club. 

Mr. William Dunwiddie brings inspiration to the school for all 
events with the Pep Club. 



4H 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



The Debate Club, also under Mr. Dunwiddie’s guidance, has been 
excellent in helping students with a knowledge of important public 
issues. Each year debates are held with other high schools in the state. 

To take care of other interests of the students, there is a Girls’ 
Athletic Club, Cheerleaders, Student Council, Girls’ Senate and 
Future Teachers’ Club. The latter group, under Miss Margaret 
Griffiths, was organized to help those interested in teaching as a 
profession. It has been organized only a few years, but has grown, 
until, in 1957, it sent a group of between 30-35 to attend a meeting 
of similar organizations at Oshkosh. 

The Honor Society, organized in 1948, under Miss Helen Hughes, 
includes the students who have attained scholastic honors according 
to a national society. 

Those interested in journalism have their groups to take care of 
publishing The C u ^-> issued monthly, and the yearbook, The pocket. 

The students who remain at high school during the noon hour are 
not forgotten. Under Mr. Ole Jorgensen, an Activities Group provides 
games and other forms of recreation. No one has idle time to breed 
mischief. 

The latest club at Neenah High School is the Varsity Service Club, 
which was formed in September, 1957. The President is John Kirch- 
georg, and faculty advisor is Warren Schuknecht. The purposes of the 
club are to usher at school functions, keep a bulletin board of photo- 
graphs of school activities, institute school traditions and keep the 
newspapers advised of school doings. At present the feminine element 
seems not to be included in membership. 

In 1918 a Junior Red Cross Society was formed at the High School, 
and a French orphan was adopted for that year. There are Junior 
Red Cross groups in all the grade schools, who each year send boxes 
of gifts to children in foreign countries. 

Junior Historical Societies are formed in grades 4, 5, and 6. 

cl Athletics 

In the fall of 1896 there was a great athletic awakening at Neenah 
High. A football team was organized, but was hampered by lack of a 
field on which to practice. In the spring of 1897 an ideal field of about 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



415 



three acres was found in the First Ward, about a 5 minute walk from 
the High School. This was purchased, and, with the aid of volunteer 
labor from the school boys, made into an athletic field enclosed by an 
8' high tight board fence. The total cost, including grandstand, re- 
modeling an old house into a clubhouse, with refreshment stand, 
tennis courts, baseball diamond and track, was Si, 100. Three boys, 



Right: Conference Champions 1950-1951: 
Back row: Coach O. Jorgensen, D. Wisthoff, 
D. Metz, D. Schultz. Second row: Mgr. D. 
Knaack, F. Wiesner, J. O’Neil, Mgr. D. 
Laflin. Front row: M. Blank, R. Rine, R. 
Jorgensen, J. Shannon, J. Gundlach. 



Below: Neenah High Conference Champions 
1957: At far right, Tom Porter, Head 
Coach, and Don Bartelt, Assistant Coach. 
At far left, Assistant Coach Joe Braun. 





John Tolversen, Sidney Coats and John Carmen, brought in a large 
spruce tree from ten miles out in the country and made a flag staff 
60' high. 

During the first year on the new field, Neenah held 8 games of 
football, 3 of baseball and held 2 field days. "They won all of the 
football games, 2 of the baseball, i field day and tied the other. 

No regular athletic coach was hired at the Neenah High School 
until the fall of 1919, when A. C. Denney, who is now at Lawrence 





A HISTORY OF NEENAII 



416 

College, Appleton, was hired. From then on the physical education 
program in our schools has gained in strength. For the first time in 
history in March, 1920, the Neenah High School was represented at 
the State Basketball Championship, held every year at Madison, and 
came out in second place. In 1930 they won the State Championship, 
and have been down there 12 times. 

Football, track, baseball and intramural sports are participated in 
by the students on both high school and grade level. The girls as 
well as boys are given physical education. 

'I'he high school football team has had two undefeated seasons in 
1956 and 1957. 

Neenah Teachers' Association 

Meetings of the Neenah teachers had been held for years at the call 
of and under the direction of the School Superintendent. About 1935 
a need for a Neenah Teachers’ Association, with a constitution and 
regularly elected officers and stated meeting times, was felt. A com- 
mittee was appointed, with Marvin Olson as chairman for the 
organization. On September 21, 1936, the first meeting of the Neenah 
chapter of the Wisconsin Education Association was held in charge of 
Ivan Williams, President. Harvey Teaman was elected President for 
the following year. At first only two meetings a year were held, but 
as need arose and the Neenah group joined the National Education 
Association, as well as the Wisconsin, the organization here reorgan- 
ized its constitution and became more and more vital in the school life. 
It belongs to the Northeastern Association and the Fox River Valley 
group. A paper called, From Our Schools, is a publication of the 
Board of Education of the Neenah Public Schools, written and edited 
by Neenah Public School Teachers. The paper (four pages) is issued 
at least twice a year and contains information about our schools. It is 
available on request. 

High School Alumni Association 

The Neenah High School Alumni Association was organized in 1888. 
It met once a year, the last week of the school year. After the first few 
meetings, which were held in the high school assembly room, the 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



417 



association met annually for a dinner, or alumni banquet, as it was 
called. These dinners were held in the dining room of the Neenah 
Club, Sign of the Fox, North Shore or Valley Inn. Seniors were 
honored guests. The senior classes continued to grow in size, and the 
dinner expense became too great; then, too, the seniors wanted their 
own banquet, so in 1934-35 the Association was disbanded. The last 
banquet was held in 1934 at the Valley Inn. 

1 Parent - Teacher t Association 

The P.T.A. is not exactly a recent organization within our school 
system. As far back as about 1915 Mothers’ Societies were formed. 
The Fourth and Second Ward mothers were one group, and the 
mothers of Kimberly School and the First and Third Wards formed 
the other. These groups met once a month after school in one of the 
classrooms of the Lincoln School or Kimberly School. Such topics 
as Disease-spreading Flies, given by Mrs. Maurice Harnett, were dis- 
cussed. These groups fell into decline and were abandoned. However, 
as the P.T.A. movement was spreading over the country in 1930, 
through the efforts of Mrs. Helen Stuart a P.T.A. group was formed 
at the Washington School. Mrs. Reginald Sanders was the first 
President, and the group met once a month in the afternoon after 
school. The time of meeting was later changed to evening to allow the 
fathers to attend. The group disbanded and reorganized twice, but 
eventually became the present Washington P.T.A. 

(The National Parent-Teacher Association was organized in 1896 
in Washington, D. C., by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson 
Hearst.) 

Several attempts have been made to organize Parent-Teacher 
Associations at Kimberly School and Neenah High School, but parents 
seem to feel it makes too many meetings to attend when there are 
children in lower grades. With a highly organized city such as Neenah, 
no doubt they are right. 

In 1934 a P.T.A. was organized at Roosevelt School, with Mrs. R. E. 
Sanders the first President. It met once a month in the afternoon, 
and was, of necessity, largely a mothers’ group. In 1936 the group 
joined the state organization, with meetings in the evening to which 



A HISTORY O F N E K NAIl 



418 

fathers were able to come. In 1946 it was disbanded, as no officers 
could be found for President and Vice-President, but in 195 1 another 
group, calling itself the Mothers’ Club, was organized with Mrs. 
Donald Mitchell as President, and is very flourishing today. This 
group began meeting afternoons, and changed to evenings so fathers 
could attend. 

In the spring of 1941 it was decided at both the Lincoln and Mc- 
Kinley schools to form P.T.A. groups. Mr. Irvin Winters was elected 
President at McKinley, and Mrs. Ambrose Owen at Lincoln. These 
two groups have maintained a steady growth. 

After the Wilson School was built, a P.T.A. was organized, with 
Co-Chairmen Mr. and Mrs. William Cramer, to meet with the 
Washington P.T.A. Meetings were to be held alternately at each 
school, but at the first meeting the attendance was so large, each 
group became a separate P.T.A. 

At Hoover School a group was immediately organized, with Mr. and 
Mrs. James Crust as Co-Presidents. 

Taft School parents felt the work of the P.T.A. ’s in Neenah has 
been so helpful, an association should be formed at their school. This 




Neenah High School graduating class June 1892. Front row: Will Joliffe (son of Methodist minister); 
Dr. Emma Jaeck (presently living at Omro); Helen Babcock, Mabel Williams; Art Koch; Rear row: 
Harry Hewitt (Hewitt St. named for his family); Milo Pinkerton; Mary Larsen Brandsmarck; James 
Barnett (Dr.); Gunlof Guthormsen; Ed Bergstrom (who designed Valley Inn); John Bergstrom (co- 
founder of Bergstrom Paper Co.); and Will Stowe. 



SCHOOL HISTORY 4I9 

was done in the fall of 1957, with Mr. and Mrs. C. Morrow as Co- 
Presidents. 

On January 26, 1942, a P.T.A. Council was formed, with Mr. Carl 
Gerhardt as President. There were representations from six Neenah 
organizations: the High School, Kimberly, Washington, Lincoln, 
McKinley and Roosevelt. The rural schools: Lakeview, Spring Road 
and Tullar, joined this council. Today the council works with the 
Menasha council in conducting a workshop every spring for members 
of the Twin City groups. The P.T.A. groups are active and helpful. 
The McKinley P.T.A. has organized two child study groups, “Tiny 
Tots” and “Wee Folks,” which are for young mothers, and a group 
called “The Child Study Group” for mothers of older children. The 
Hoover P.T.A. is affiliated with these groups. 

At present there are six active P.T.A. organizations in Neenah, all 
affiliated with the state P.T.xA. : Washington, Lincoln, McKinley, 
Wilson, Hoover and Taft, with an active Mothers’ Club at Roosevelt. 

‘City Father Talks" 

From The Twin City "Daily JCews of January 23, 1888: 

Editor Daily News: 

Your issue of Saturday, Jan. 21, contained a communication from a resident of the 
Third Ward, severely criticizing the ‘city fathers' for allowing little children to re- 
main out doors in the cold while awaiting the arrival of the teacher to unlock the 
school house. That the children are locked out and perhaps suffer from the severe 
cold may be a fact, but in justice to the members of the city council I would say that 
they have nothing whatever to do with these matters. The care of the school houses, 
hiring of teachers and janitors, is in the hands of the school board, and the ‘city 
fathers' have no knowledge of the offense of which they are accused by the irate 
‘Third Warder' unless some of them happen to be ‘father' to some of the little ones 
who are compelled to stand out in the cold. That the complaint is a just one, is con- 
ceded by all right minded citizens, for in such weather as we have had this winter it is 
hard enough for the children to walk to school, without having to stand out of doors 
when they arrive there. Children are not expected to start for school until a reason- 
able hour, and then they should find the school house open and warm. The ‘Third 
Warder' is quite right in his accusation, but his complaint should be directed to the 
school board instead of the innocent and long suffering ‘city fathers.' 

One of the Council 

Times haven’t changed! — parents still complain when their children 
aren’t allowed in the school — at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. ! 



420 



A HISTORY OF NEENAII 




A Washington grade school class of the late 1890’s. Complete identification could not be made, but in- 
cluded in the group are: Anna Felton, Nellie Ruegge, Anna Michelson, Anna Gram, Myra Dunn, Guy 
Young, Paul Heinicke, Emma Dobbertin, Jennie Larsen, Arthur Klinke, Belle Klock, Conrad Schmidt, 
Carolyn Giffin, Fred Watts, Lucille Schwartz and Mary Bergstrom. 



School Strike 

Education should teach the folly of a strike and the wisdom of arbi- 
tration, but in 1901 a strike took place in the Neenah High School. 
The Superintendent, Mr. J. H. Healey, who, by the way, was at 
that time elected by the City Council and did not necessarily need 
education degrees, and Mr. O. J. Schuster, Principal of the High 
School, had been “feudin’” for some time. On Monday morning of 
the last week of school that year, as Mr. Schuster was writing exami- 
nation questions on the board for the senior class, Mr. Healey ap- 
peared. He dismissed the Principal from his duties and took over. 
Took over? No, attempted to. Mr. Schuster had very quietly left the 
building and gone home. In their indignation and loyalty to their 
Principal, the student body arose and left the building, not quietly, 
I fear. Two students were left in the room; one had come to school 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



4 2I 



tardy and did not know the reason for the exodus; the other, who 
lived with a grandmother, feared her disapproval. The students 
paraded to the home of Mr. Schuster and voiced their loyalty to him. 
He thanked them, but urged no disturbance and advised them all to 
go home. 

Some parent or parents made a complaint against Mr. Healey for 
his actions, and a mass meeting was held that evening in the old Rink, 
which was on Canal Street. Mr. Schuster was reinstated and classes 
resumed the next day, but the graduating class that June received 
unsigned diplomas for their part in the strike. Later in the summer 
the Hoard agreed to sign the diplomas, so “all’s well that ends well.” 

Parochial Schools 

Neenah has three parochial schools, the Trinity Lutheran, St. 
Margaret-Mary, and Martin Luther. St. Patrick’s School, situated 
in Menasha just across the boundary line on Nicolet Boulevard, is 
attended by some of the Island children of that congregation, as is 
St. Mary’s High School in Menasha. Winnebago Day School, a private 
school located on Winnebago Avenue, in Menasha, draws pupils from 
the Neenah area. This school was opened September 1, 1932. 

St. Margaret-Mary’s school — St. Margaret-Mary ’s School is 
located on Division Street. It was built in 1950 and has eight grades. 
Excavation was begun in September, 1950, for the school building, 
and in February, 1951, for the Sisters’ Home. About the middle of 
August 1951, six teaching nuns and a house sister of the Sisters of the 
Holy Family of Nazareth came from Chicago to conduct the new 
school, the first Catholic parochial school in Neenah. School opened 
September 7 with an enrollment of 304 pupils divided into six grades, 
from third through eighth. The Most Rev. Stanislaus V. Bona, Bishop 
of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, dedicated the school and con- 
vent on September 30. The convent was ready for occupancy March 
10, 1952. On February 6, 1955, St. Margaret-Mary parish voted to 
erect a recreation center to the west end of the school building. This 
was completed in January 1956. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



422 

There are now ten teaching Sisters and two lay teachers, with an 
enrollment of 510 pupils in eight grades. 

Trinity Lutheran school — Trinity Lutheran School was organized 
in the early seventies, a few years after the congregation was organized 
in 1865. It was born of a two-fold need, to give the children of the 
parish a Christ-centered education on a daily basis, and to teach the 
children in the mother tongue, German. 

The first school stood on Walnut Street, next to the church, between 
Olive Street and Washington Avenue. The building has since been 
remodeled into a home. The teachers were the pastors of the church, 
who were qualified by the better education they received at theological 
schools. In 1884 the congregation saw the need for a full-time teacher, 
and one was hired. 

A new church had been erected on the corner of Oak Street and 
Franklin Avenue. The congregation had grown and a new school was 
needed. In 1893 one was built on Oak Street, beside the church. Soon 
the number of children required another teacher, and a woman 
teacher, somewhat of an innovation at that time, was called to assist 
the man teacher. In 1912 Mr. William Hellerman was called to head 
the school, a post which he held until 1955, when he asked to be re- 
lieved of his heavy work load. He is presently teaching the eighth 
grade. Mr. W. E. Stoekli succeeded Mr. Hellerman. 

Under Mr. Hellerman ’s able and dedicated Christian leadership, the 
enrollment of the school increased from 50 or 60 to 285 students. No 
longer is it a “Dutch College,” as English has replaced German in 
the classroom. The eighth grade was added; likewise the kindergarten. 
New textbooks, an expanded curriculum, new teaching methods, are 
used, besides religious instruction, which not only is given daily, but 
permeates all teaching regardless of subject matter. 

During the last war, the gymnasium was used part-time for classes, 
as Pearl Harbor rendered useless the building plans for a new school. 
Materials were not available. The opened mission churches of Martin 
Luther and Grace Evangelical increased school enrollments, as those 
children were permitted to attend Trinity school. On April 6, 1951, 
just one year to the day after construction was begun, the present 



SCHOOL HISTORY 



4 A3 




school opened its doors to the first classes. Constructed at a cost of 
more than $ 200 , 000 , it has seven full-time and one remedial teacher; 
with 255 daily pupils. 1'here are three male teachers and five women 
teachers. 

The object of the school is to make good Christian citizens. 



Trinity Lutheran School, 1900. Top row, far left, Mr. Braun, a teacher, and Reverend Froehlke. 

Martin Luther school — The latest of Neenah’s parochial schools 
is the Martin Luther School, on Adams Street. This school started in 
September, 1957, with Reverend Paul Hartwig as the Principal and 
one assistant teacher. Sixty-two pupils are enrolled in grades 1 
through 6. 

The school is in the former chapel of the Martin Luther congrega- 
tion. This chapel, built in 1947, was constructed for the dual purpose 
of being used as a church for the congregation, and as a school when 
the present church edifice was constructed (1956). This building will 
serve as a school until plans for another school can be realized in 
about i960. 



TRANSPORTATION 

COMPILED BY GEORGE BANTA, JR. 

%ailroads 

Chicago & Northwestern Railway — The first railroad to reach 
Neenah was the Chicago and Northwestern, which came in 1 86 1 as a 
part of the expansion of the road from Oshkosh to Appleton and 
Green Bay. This road was a merger of the Galena and Chicago 
Union and the Rock River Valley Union, which had been reorganized 
as the Chicago, St. Paul & Fond du Lac R.R. 




Chicago & Northwestern Depot, at intersection of Commercial and Railroad Streets. 



The first depot was located where the tracks intersect South 
Commercial Street near the present plant of the Neenah Milk 
Products Company (now the Galloway Company). The original 
idea was to swerve to the west across the slough, and then go straight 
south along the west shore of Little Lake Butte des Morts. The right 
of way was constructed and the ties put in place to a point somewhere 
near the west end of the present C.&N.W. bridge, when the protests 
of Menasha residents, particularly the owners of the Menasha Wood- 
enware Corporation, caused a change in plans. The line was re- 
engineered to bring the tracks across the island in their present loca- 



TRANSPORTATION 



425 



tion so that they passed through both towns. The depot was then 
moved to a site in the rear of the Jersild Knitting Company building, 
presently owned by Marathon Corporation, and remained there until 
1893, when the present brick structure was erected. 

The first industrial siding was built by John Stevens, who owned a 
flour mill now occupied by the plant of the Neenah Paper Company. 
It is said that this siding was put down over a weekend when no 
injunction could be served on him. In 1875 the railroad built the spur 
which serves industries along the entire power canal. 

The Soo Line — In the year 1909 the Canadian Pacific Railroad, 
through its subsidiary, the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. 
Marie, needing an outlet to Chicago, began negotiations with the 



Right: Old Soo Line (Wisconsin Central) 
depot (between Sherry and Main Streets), in 
process of demolition following completion 
of new station to the north. 



Below: modern depot of the Soo Line located 
between Main and North Lake Streets. 





A II [STORY OF N E E N A H 



426 

Wisconsin Central, which was then in bad shape financially. A 99-year 
lease was effected under which the CPR took over management of 
the Wisconsin Central. Previous to this, certain flour milling interests 
of the St. Paul-Minneapolis area built a road from Minneapolis to 
Sault Ste. Marie, known as the Soo Line. During the depression of 
the 1930’s, both roads, the Soo and the Wisconsin Central, were in 
receiverships, whereupon the CPR bought the bonds and the con- 
trolling stock of the Wisconsin Central, and continued the operation 
of these two roads by the Soo Line. The Soo Line pays the Wisconsin 
Central for use of its tracks. The two roads pool the use of their 
engines. 

Wisconsin Central Railroad — The organization of the Wisconsin 
Central resulted from the pooling of interests of various groups which 
were striving through the eighteen sixties to build a railroad to reach 
Lake Superior. These were the Winnebago & Lake Superior, the Port- 
age & Superior, and the Portage, Stevens Point & Superior. The first 
two had been assigned Federal land grants by Congressional resolu- 
tion approved May 5, 1864. 




Wreck on the Wisconsin Central Line near Winneconne Avenue, October 3, 1907. 



TRANSP () R T A T I O N 



427 



I'he first consolidation of interests occurred in May, 1 869, with their 
merger under the name of the Portage, Winnebago & Superior, with 
the following directors: George Reed, President; Benjamin F. Hop- 
kins, John P. McGregor, Henry Hewitt, Henry P. Strong, W. G. 
Germain, Charles N. Paine, Reuben M. Scott, and J. S. Buck. 

The overlapping land grants of these interests finally resulted in an 
award of approximately 888,288 acres from which the Wisconsin Cen- 
tral eventually realized about six million dollars. 

Judge George Reed, of Manitowoc, a brother of Harrison Reed and 
Curtis Reed, was the dreamer, the promoter, and guiding hand that 
accomplished the difficult merger. He had succeeded in securing a land 
grant to build a railroad from “Doty’s Island to Lake Superior” and 
he interested Gardner Colby and a Boston group in financing the ven- 
ture. 

General headquarters for the project were established in January, 
1870, at the new National Hotel in Menasha. In November, 1870, the 
offices were moved across the street to the Bates Building, where they 
remained until 1872, when permanent general offices were set up in 
Milwaukee, with operating headquarters in Stevens Point. 

The assumption of the name Wisconsin Central took place on Feb- 
ruary 4, 1871, when the following officers and directors were elected to 
form the first board: 



On October 3, 1955, a significant gathering was held at Hotel Me- 
nasha, at which time a bronze plaque (see page 30), attached to the 
north wall of that hotel, was dedicated. The inscription on this plaque 
reads as follows: 

“WISCONSIN CENTRAL RAILROAD was formally organized in the National 
Hotel on this site by Judge George Reed and his associates, February 4, 1871. Here 
the contracts were let for its construction and the first general office was located. 
The road secured a land grant to build a line from “Doty’s Island to Lake Superior.” 

The first train ran from Menasha to Waupaca, October 2, 1871. 

The Wisconsin Central’s rails actually reached Neenah in 1880 



George Reed, Vice-President 
Samuel H. VValley, Treasurer 
Frank W. Webster, Secretary 



Gardner Colby, President 



Boston, Massachusetts 
Menasha, Wisconsin 
Boston, Massachusetts 
Menasha, Wisconsin 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



428 

when the crossing of Lake Butte des Morts on the C.&N.W. bridge 
was abandoned and a line constructed around the south end of the 
lake. The first passenger and freight depot was located at the west 
end of Wisconsin Avenue. 

In 1882, when the lease of the Milwaukee & Northern was given up, 
the Central organized the Milwaukee and Lake Winnebago R.R. and 
built a line from Neenah to Schleisingerville (now Slinger). Here 
their trains reached Milwaukee with trackage rights over the C.M. 
&St.P.R.R. 

Milwaukee & Northern Railway — The building of the Wisconsin 
Central in this area brought with it another railroad when a branch 
of the Milwaukee & Northern was constructed into Menasha from 
Hilbert Junction in 1871 to give the Central a connection to Milwau- 
kee. The mainline of the M.&N. had begun building in 1871 from 
Milwaukee to Green Bay, and the Central leased the road in 1873, an 
arrangement which continued for nine years, during which time 
through trains were operated between Milwaukee and the north coun- 
try over both roads. 

As a part of this deal the Menasha & Appleton R. R. built and 
opened a line between those two cities in 1880. This road was leased 
by the Wisconsin Central, but reverted to the Milwaukee & Northern 
in 1882, when the Central gave up its lease of both. During this period 
the M.&N. got to Neenah and established a station on the island 
where it is still located on West Forest Avenue. 

In 1895 the Milwaukee & Northern was sold to the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee and St. Paul and became its Superior Division. This is now 
the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific, and is known as the 
“Milwaukee Road.” 

Wisconsin & Northern Railroad — The last railroad to build into 
Neenah was the Wisconsin and Northern, which reached to outskirts 
of the city at Winnebago Jet. on the Soo Line in 1920. This line was 
organized in 1906 by Charles R. Smith, of the Menasha Woodenware, 
Leander Choate and Charles Bray, of Oshkosh, and M. J. Wallrich, 
of Shawano. These men held extensive timber tracts north of the 



TRANSPORTATION 



429 



Menominee Indian Reservation, and when Marvin Hughitt, Presi- 
dent of the Chicago and Northwestern, refused to provide trackage 
into the area, they decided to build their own line. So they employed 
C. H. Hartley, of Oshkosh, a former division superintendent of the 
Northwestern, to act as general manager, and construction was 
started north from Shawano in 1906. 

In stages, the Wisconsin and Northern was extended north through 
Neopit, White Lake and Crandon to Argonne on the east and west 
line of the Soo and south from Shawano to Black Creek and Appleton 
before the final extension which brought the trains to Neenah. 

This line was sold soon after to the Soo Line, which actually gave 
Neenah its fourth railroad, since the Wisconsin Central, though oper- 
ated by the Soo Line, is in reality an independent road. 



(For history of Interurban Service, see section “Electric Light, Elec- 
tric Power and Interurban Service.”) 

zAir Travel 

The North Central Airlines (formerly named Wisconsin Central Air- 
lines) has served Neenah since 1948, when the Oshkosh airport be- 
came usable for the company’s planes. 

Presently its aircraft fleet numbers twenty 25-passenger DC-3’s. 
Starting in 1948 with non-scheduled intrastate flight service, the 
North Central now offers regular service, not only to Chicago, Mil- 
waukee and St. Paul-Minneapolis, but to 43 cities in North Dakota, 
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. 

Early scheduled service was directed from Madison. In 1952 the 
company moved its general offices to Wold-Chamberlain Field, Min- 
neapolis-St. Paul. 

The year 1958 marks their tenth anniversary of operations as a 
scheduled interstate carrier. 



PUBLIC UTILITIES 



ZQJater System 



As Neenah entered the last decade of the 19th Century, the citizens 
were still using water from private wells for cooking and for drinking. 
For all other domestic purposes everyone had a cistern in his base- 
ment, getting rain water from the roof. To replenish cisterns in dry 
seasons, several enterprising members of the community installed 
tanks on trucks and did a brisk business in raw lake water. This was 



before water treatment had become an exact science — therefore, when 
in the early ’go's the city fathers responded to public pressure for a 
city water system, they did the normal thing and drilled a deep well. 
The well water was turned into newly laid city mains in 1893. 

It was a reasonable supposition that a city water supply would 
eliminate cisterns, but what a disappointment to discover that the 
newly found water supply was so hard (60 grains per gallon) that it 
was useless for washing of dishes and clothes, or for use in washbowls 
or bathtubs, and not much good for cooking! Eventually it proved too 
hard for flushing toilets and for use in heating systems. The excess of 
mineral salts coated and finally clogged the piping. 

The city limped along for forty years under this handicap. Mean- 
while, our sister city of Menasha pointed the way, installing a treat- 
ment plant to filter and purify river water, producing a potable, all- 
purpose supply. It was not until it became obvious that Neenah 
was losing out with home builders and new industry that a group of 
citizens, known as the Neenah Advancement Committee, organized 
to do something about it. Members of this Committee were: 



H. J. Jung, Chairman 

C. F. Gerhardt, Sec’y-Treas. 

L. O. Schubart 

N. H. Bergstrom 

G. E. Sande 

Geo. H. Williamson 

S. N. Pickard 

James Webb 

Gaylord C. Loehning 



R. A. Vanderwalker 
E. H. Nicholson 

T. D. Smith 
Max W. Schalk 
C. E. Clark 
Gilbert Courshon 
E. J. Boehm 

S. F. Shattuck 
Kim Stuart 



43 ° 



UTILITIES 



431 



This Committee brought to the voters at the spring election of 1932 
a proposal to do away with the wells and purchase a system to treat 
lake water. This move met with a 2 to t defeat. 

The subject then simmered until the fall of 1934, when the Neenah 
Advancement Committee created a Water Committee consisting of: 



S. F. Shattuck, Chairman 

G. E. Sande 

G. F. Gerhardt 

Kim Stuart 

A. S. McArthur 

Frank Witt 

Ed Kal fahs 

Wm. Blohm 

Chas. Neubauer 

Otto Steffen h age n 



Earl Brien 

Emmett E. Chris t offer son 
Chas. Korotev 
W. A. Draheim 
Chas. Madson 
Wm. Swentner 
Henry Engfer 
Marvin N. Olson 
Carroll M. McEathron 



It was obvious that a physical demonstration of what can be done 
with our lake water must be made. A small, gaily painted water plant 
was built on the Wieckert property, adjoining North Commercial 
Street. The International Filter Company supplied the equipment for 
an alum, lime, carbon process. The Committee went to work, peddling 
water all over town, serving it to luncheon and dinner meetings of 
all sorts, and inviting citizens to try it out for washing, cooking and 
all domestic purposes! A running fire of comment was maintained in 
the press and through the mails for nine months prior to the spring 
election of 1936. On April 7 of that year the vote in favor of the pres- 
ent water system was 2,455 f° r to 6 54 against. Every ward voted 
favorably! It was at this election that Ed Kalfahs became Mayor, and 
it was under his administration that water from the new plant flowed 
into Neenah’s mains on February 4, 1937. 



Sewer System 

Prior to 1881, Neenah had no sewer system. Out-of-door toilets were 
in vogue. The modern septic tank had not yet been invented. 

In that year, 1881, a group of citizens petitioned the city fathers 
"to lay a sewer from Main Street to some point under the railroad 
track of sufficient depth and capacity to carry all the sewerage on 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



43 - 




The petition that gained for Neenah its first sewer system. Residents whose homes or businesses fronted on 
Wisconsin Avenue petitioned the city fathers in April 1881 for permission to lay a sewer line down the 
avenue, under the C.&N.W. tracks, and emptying into Little Lake Buttes des Morts. The property owners 
benefiting from this utility were, of course, obligated to pay the cost thereof. It is interesting to note that 
this sewer line was laid twelve years before Neenah had a city water system. 




UTILITIES 



4 33 



both sides of Wisconsin Avenue up as far as the North Western Rail- 
road crossing into Lake Butte des Morts.” The petition was signed 
by J. B. Russell, Alex Billstein, J. Brown, Henry Sherry, A. W. Pat- 
ten, W. P. Peckham, P. Gaffney, A. C. Briggs, Wm. Krueger, J. A. 
Kimberly, J. N. Stone, D. C. Van Ostrand, Chas. W. Johnson, J. R. 
Davis, Sr., Edward Smith, E. P. Marsh, J. R. Barnett, Geo. Rodgers, 
F. C. Shattuck, H. Babcock, D. L. Kimberly. 




The modern remodeled Sewage and Garbage disposal plant which will go into operation in June 1958. 



Their petition was acted upon favorably. A sewer district was char- 
tered, bonds issued to pay for the improvement with appropriate tax 
rate, sewer lines were laid, and the system began operation in 1884. 

A second sewer district was set up in 1890 to serve petitioners along 
Forest Avenue. By 1900, four sewer districts were in existence, each 
with its bond issue and consequent tax rate. In the year 1935, the 
several separate sewer districts were consolidated into a unified city 
system. 

In 1937, a sewage disposal plant servicing both Neenah and Me- 
nasha came into operation. Previous to that time, all waste was dumped 
into Little Lake Butte des Morts. In the disposal plant, the solids are 
settled and filtered out, then dried and burned in an incinerator; the 



434 



A HISTORY OK NEENAH 



residue liquids are chlorinated and go into the lake; the dry solids 
from the incinerator are used as fill around the community. 

As these words are written, the Twin Cities are experiencing grow- 
ing pains. The present sewage disposal plant is outgrown. Building is 
underway to enlarge the operation to include increasing sewage capac- 
ity, mill wastes and garbage disposal. 



HISTORY OF THE NEENAH-MENASH A 
VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION 



The Neenah-Menasha Visiting Nurse Association was founded in 
1908, and its original purposes still apply today. As stated in its pres- 
ent constitution, those purposes are: 

1. To promote health: individual, family and community. 

2. To prevent disease by teaching the principles of health, hygiene 
and sanitation. 

3. To provide skilled nursing care for the sick in their homes on a 
part-time basis. 

Charter members of the organization were: Mrs. A. M. Gilbert, 
Mrs. J. C. Kimberly, Mrs. C. B. Clark, Mrs. John Shiells, Mrs. Lyle 
Pinkerton, Mrs. Louis Jourdain, Miss Ann Pleasants, Mrs. George 
Banta, Sr., Mrs. John Bergstrom, Mrs. G. W. Dodge, Mrs. Jacob 
Hanson, Miss Mary Hamilton, Mrs. W. H. Strange, Mrs. Fred Elwers, 
Mrs. J. R. Barnett, and Miss Mary Robertson. Mrs. A. M. Gilbert 
was the first President. 

The first recorded budget was for $800; the 1958 budget is $33,870. 
The nursing staff was then all-inclusive in Miss Ida Heinicke, a prac- 
tical nurse, at a salary of $50 per month. She walked to the 1 16 visits 
per month she made. In 1929 the first trained graduate public health 
nurse was employed, Miss Laura Chase. Today the staff numbers 
five registered nurses and two trained practical nurses, and the case 
load averages 1,050 visits per month. Originally the Association had 
an annual fund-raising drive. No fee was set for patients who could 
pay, but they were asked to pay anything they could, which ranged 
from 5 cents to a maximum of 50 cents. Today free and part-pay serv- 
ice is given whenever the patient is unable to pay the full fee of $2.50 
The VNA is affiliated with the Community Chest, and $24,170 of the 
1958 budget will be from that source. 

The Visiting Nurses were the pioneers of public health nursing in 



435 





The Two Homes of the VNA. In 1940 the Visiting Nurse Association acquired the former home of I. W. 
Hunt (above) on East Forest Avenue for a headquarters. The first meeting of the VNA in their new quarters 
was on October 8 of that year. By the mid-5o’s this space had become inadequate. Following the death of 
Mrs. Helen K. Stuart in 1956, Mr. J. C. Kimberly, acting for the Kimberly family, gave the present 
property at 406 East Wisconsin Avenue, formerly the home of Mrs. Stuart, to the VNA (below). 





VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION 



437 



this community. They preceded school, city and industrial nurses. 
Through the years other services have been added to the all-important 
bedside care: Child Health Centers, Mothers’ Classes, Fathers’ Class- 
es, Dental Clinics, Loan Closet and Industrial Nursing. The VNA 
Auxiliary is closely associated. 

History records that in the first fund-raising drive a butcher gave 
soup bones to make broth in the homes of the ill! 

Miss Heinicke had a horse and buggy at one time — the horse 
couldn’t take the cold; Miss Heinicke did! Mrs. J. C. Kimberly later 
donated the first car. 

In 1956, following the death of Mrs. Helen K. Stuart, Mr. J. C. 
Kimberly offered to the VNA, Mrs. Stuart’s former home at 403 East 
Wisconsin Avenue, backed by an endowment of $100,000 to guaran- 
tee proper maintenance and upkeep. With acquiescence of the city 
authorities, this genercus offer was accepted in August, 1956, and this 
valuable property became the headquarters of the VNA. 

Officers of the Association in 1957 are: 

President — Mrs. R. L. Johnson 
1 st Vice President — Mrs. Fred Hollenbeck 
2nd Vice President — Mrs. W. B. Bellack 
Secretary — Mrs. Gilbert Bayley 
Treasurer — Mr. Clark Harris 

Compiled by Mrs. R. M. Eiss 



Visiting Nurse s Association ^Auxiliary 

In 1933, when it became obvious that members of VNA were unable 
to carry on all the work of driving for dental clinics and keeping the 
nurses’ supplies complete, the Junior Auxiliary was brought into be- 

ing ’ 

The first meeting was held in January, 1933, and dues of $1.00 per 
person were decided upon. Mrs. John Pinkerton was Chairman of the 
group and Mines. John Wilterding, Stuart Thompson, R. H. Kuehm- 
sted, R. McMillen, S. N. Pickard, K. Lawson, T. Gilbert, Miss Pau- 
line DeWolf and Miss Dorothy Brown comprised the original com- 
mittee. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



438 

On February 20, 1933, the second meeting was held and a consti- 
tution was drawn. Mrs. Kuehmsted was elected Vice-Chairman and 
Mrs. Ted Gilbert, Secretary and Treasurer. Monthly meetings were 
held in the homes of members. By 1934 there were twelve active mem- 
bers. In April of that year, two auxiliary members were appointed to 
attend the monthly meetings of the VNA Board in order to establish 
a closer working arrangement between the two groups. Dues, plus 
proceeds of food sales, provided a small amount for the treasury. 

In later years, an annual dance has been held to raise money for the 
work. 

Presently one VNA Auxiliary member is elected to serve on the VNA 
Board, and two members are invited to attend the monthly meetings 
of the VNA Board. 

VNA Auxiliary members continued to drive for dental clinics until 
that work was recently absorbed by the Community Chest. This group 
makes all necessary sewing repairs for VNA nurses, and supplies the 
kits used in their daily calls. 

Compiled by Mrs. IV. B. Bellack 



WINNEBAGO PLAYERS 



Birth of the Winnebago Players occurred in 1928, when the board in 
charge of dedicating the newly-completed Doty Park decided on a 
home talent play as part of the ceremony. “Prunella” met with such 
popular enthusiasm that its sponsors began envisioning a little theater 
production as a permanent summer attraction. The idea grew, and in 
1929, a hundred persons or more tried out for the cast of “Smilin’ 
Thru.” Twenty-two hundred attended its two performances, and the 
future of the Winnebago Players was assured. 

Audiences of those earlier days will remember vividly “Pomander 
Walk,” “Rip Van Winkle,” “Devil in the Cheese,” “The Return of 
Peter Grimm,” and in later years, “Blithe Spirits,” “I Remember 
Mama,” etc. Ruth Dieckhoff, speech teacher at Neenah High, directed 
the first play in 1928, and continued in this capacity until she left 
Neenah. She and her work are remembered with gratitude. Miss 
Dieckhoff is now Mrs. H. B. McCarty, of Madison. 

Unusual as these plays have been as dramatic achievements, there 
has been a civic aspect which has been more significant. Talent of 
both communities has been given opportunity for expression in the 
various fields of dramatic production. Actors, costumers, makers of 
sets, production staffs, directors and business managers have been 
necessary to the success of these performances. In producing them, 
there has come about an enlarging community friendliness such as 
few other civic enterprises could arouse. 

Throughout its earlier years, and even up to a few years ago when, 
temporarily, the Players took a breathing spell, the citizens of Neenah 
and Menasha have given generous support to the Players. The result 
has been something of which the whole community may well be proud. 

In 1957 the Recreation Department began sponsoring an amateur 
dramatic group, with performances given in the new Riverside Park 
pavilion. Under the able direction of Kenneth F. Anderson, speech, 
drama and English teacher at Neenah High School, highly successful 



( Continued on page 446) 

439 



YACHTING 



Sailing on jQake Winnebago 

In connection with this historical project, we assembled a summary 
of yachting on Lake Winnebago. Since then, J. C. Kimberly has pub- 
lished a complete and very readable volume tracing the history of 
sailing, reaching back ioo years. We, therefore, cancelled out our 
modest write-up and refer our readers to Mr. Kimberly’s breezy effort. 
We content ourselves with picturing the development of boat forms 
and sail plans from the days of the “sand baggers” down to the present. 




Riverside Park shore during regatta week. This colorful scene will he repeated in 1958, when the I.L.Y.A. 
returns to Neenah for its annual regatta. 



44 ° 




YACHTING 



44 1 




The “Minerva” of Fond du Lac, a “sand bagger,” sailed many a race on the Neenah course against similar 
boats such as the “Myra Bell” owned by Will Davis. Note the topsail. 




Type of boat sailed and raced on inland lakes of Wisconsin in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They were called 
“sand baggers.” All crew members except the sheet tenders transferred sand bags from side to side when 
the boat was put about. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



442 




1 4 m i ** 



This type of sloop-rigged boat followed the “sand baggers.” It was raced on Lake Winnebago during the 
late ’90s and first decade of the 20th century. The boats passed out as the “skimming dish” type of racer 
appeared. 




First of the many one-design fleets to be owned and raced over the Neenah triangle. There were seven of 
these cat yawls which made their appearance about 1896. 




YACHTING 



443 




Coming into the “teens” and ’20s, we enter the era of the double boards and twin rudders — sleek, slim 
and speedy. 



Winnebagoland Marathon 

On a cold, blustery day in January, 1949, the idea of the Winnebago- 
land Marathon was born in the sports department of the Krueger 
Hardware Company. Jiggs (George) Jagerson and Gib (Gilbert) Neff, 
after much idle talk, thought it would be a grand idea to have an out- 
board motor race about 100 miles long. As it finally shaped up, the 
starting point would be the Neenah river proceeding into Lake Winne- 
bago to Oshkosh, Winneconne, Fremont and return. As it turned out, 
the actual mileage was 92 miles. This activity developed to be the 
largest stock outboard motor race in the world and had as many as 
288 entries in the years that followed. This event was held yearly 
through 1954. 



444 



A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 



Tri-Qity Boating £lub 

“This organization is dedicated to the promotion of motorboating as an enjoyable 
and safe pastime or recreation tor the entire family. 

“It aims to accomplish this by — 

a. Educating all members in the principles of good and safe boat handling and 
navigation. 

b. Promoting by example, education and propaganda, good and sate boat han- 
dling, and navigation by non-members, young and old. 

c. Promoting good fellowship among the members of this club and neighboring 
clubs by programming activities for all members of the family.” 

That is the purpose for which the club was organized as stated in the 
preamble of the club constitution. 

The birth of the Tri-City Boating Club took place at a meeting in 
the Shattuck Park boat house in August of 1954. The purpose of the 
meeting was to start drafting plans to form a boat club. Present at 
this first meeting were Lawrence Driscoll, Frank Sharpless, Russell 
Arnold, Maynard Eisch, Wesley Christensen, Katherine and Herbert 
Wienandt, Ada and Ralph Stahl. 

On September 8, 1954, the same group met at the Whiting Boat 
House with Commodore Lester Guddin and twenty members of the 
Oshkosh Outboard Club. They were there in response to a request 
from the Neenah group for assistance in how to organize and promote 
a boat club. As a result of the talk by Commodore Guddin, it was 
decided to give the proposed club a name and to get membership 
application cards printed. The name chosen for the club was the Tri- 
City Boating Club. 

The next meeting of the newly formed club was held at the Whiting 
Boat House on September 22, 1954. Serving as temporary officers 
were Lawrence Driscoll, Commodore; Frank Sharpless, Vice Commo- 
dore; Ada Stahl, Secretary; Russell Arnold, Treasurer. At this meet- 
ing a committee was formed for the purpose of designing a club em- 
blem. Serving on this committee were Lawrence Driscoll, Frank 
Sharpless and Eric Isakson. 

Election of permanent officers took place on October 6, 1954, at the 
Whiting Boat House. Officers elected were: Lawrence Driscoll, Com- 
modore; Frank Sharpless, Vice Commodore; Fred W. Grupe, Treas- 



YACHTING 



445 




The Tri-City Boating Club, organized in 1954, needed dockage facilities, and Neenah’s waterfront was 
preempted. The pressure of need gave birth to this enterprising idea: two double lines of “finger” piers, 

entering from Shattuck Park. During 1957 this part was redesigned to serve the purposes of the boating 
enthusiasts, and at the same time to retain a beauty spot at its heart. 



urer; Verndyne Stelow, Secretary. Appointments made at the meeting 
were: Irving Stilp, Harbormaster; Joyce Anderson, Historian. Com- 
mittee Chairmen: Melvin Rausch, Entertainment; Alfred Ginncw, 
Cruise Planning; Margaret Geisler, Publicity; Wesley Saecker, Mem- 
bership; Edward Stelow, House. 

At the November 3, 1954, meeting the constitution and by-laws 
prepared by the constitution committee, headed by Herman Dupont, 
were read and approved by the membership. Also approved was the 
club burgee. Its held color is deep blue. Triangular in shape, it has 
three white stars with points touching enclosed by a red circle. The 
three stars symbolize the Tri-Cities of Neenah, Menasha and Apple- 
ton. 

Club membership has grown from the original group to seventy 
family memberships totaling over two hundred twenty-five men, 
women and children. Activities have included: family cruises and pic- 
nics, potluck suppers, dances and costume parties. 

The club stands ready to provide as it has in the past volunteers to 
assist the law enforcement agencies in search and rescue work on Lake 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



446 

Winnebago. It has worked in close cooperation with Mr. S. F. Shat- 
tuck and the Park Board of the City of Neenah in planning facilities 
in Shattuck Park for boating. 

1957 officers are: Fred W. drupe, Commodore; Frank Sharpless, 
Vice Commodore; Melvin Rausch, Treasurer; Verndyne Stelow, 
Secretary. Members of the Executive Committee: Lawrence Driscoll, 
Herman Dupont, and Maynard Eisch. Committee Chairmen: Robert 
Romeyrn, Program; Clement Murphy, Cruise Planning; Ed Stelow, 
House; Theo drupe, Publicity; Joyce Anderson, Historian; Helen 
Tuttrup, Calling. 

Compiled by Fred W. Grupe 




WINNEBAGO PLAYERS 



( Continued, from page 439) 

plays were produced, among them “Androcles and The Lion,” ‘‘Man 
of Destiny,” “Sunday Costs Five Pesos,” “Spreading The News,” 
“The Boor,” “Happy Journey” and “Ten Nights in a Barroom.” 
There were 80 acting roles, and over ioo people worked on the crews. 
The 1958 season looks even more promising for this enthusiastic group. 

Compiled by Henry Young 



Y.W.C.A. OF NEENAH-MENASHA 

(Formerly the Young Women’s Club) 

In the early 1900’s more and more women were being drawn from 
a protected home life into industrial employment. It was brought to 
the attention of the Tuesday Club that here was an opportunity to 
provide advantages for broader life interests for working girls. 

In the spring of 191 1 a club for girls was organized. Interest in the 
club was stimulated by the work of The Boys’ Brigade, in Neenah, 
and by a Girls’ Glee Club, sponsored by a women’s organization, now 
the Economics Club, of Menasha. 

The Girls’ Club started in a small way with emphasis upon social 
activities. Groups of girls were invited to homes of members of the 
Tuesday Club for parties, games and for picnics during warm weather. 

In 1912 a Director was engaged to coordinate the work already 
started. Later, club rooms were opened in the building on the north- 
west corner of Church Street and Wisconsin Avenue. 

In the fall of 1914 the Girls’ Club was converted into the Young 
Women’s Club of Neenah and Menasha. As more women were enter- 
ing office and industrial positions, a broader program and more space 
were required. In the fall of 1915 the former Robert Shiells’ home at 
243 East Doty Avenue was rented as a club house. 

Then emerged the emphasis on the needs of younger girls, — char- 
acter-building activities, camping for girls, and organizations such as 
the Camp Fire Girls. Several groups of Camp Fire Girls were organ- 
ized. Camping facilities at Onaway Island were made available to the 
groups. The women of Neenah and Menasha, by accepting leadership 
of these groups and aiding in transportation to camp, made this ven- 
ture one of the most rewarding. Through the generosity of two Nee- 
nah women, a recreation hall was added to the building. Here a stage 
was erected and dramatic work prospered for awhile. 

Following World War I the Directors of the club responded to 
another community need. Our city lacked adequate dining facilities 



447 



448 A HISTORY OF N E E N A H 




Y.W.C.A. Building on the corner of West North Water and Commercial Streets. 



for the increasing number of employed young people. First, a cafe- 
teria was opened in rented space on Commercial Street. Later, a group 
of citizens secured the lower floor in the Eagles’ Building on Wiscon- 
sin Avenue for a restaurant, known as The Sign of the Fox. This was 
a noble experiment that wilted for lack of patronage due to drug 
stores installing lunch counters where food could be sold for lower 
prices. 

Meanwhile, the Neenah Board of Education granted the use of 
rooms in the present Washington School for night classes in sewing, 
cooking and millinery. Members of the Tuesday Club gave their time 
and help in these classes. 

Coming into the later twenties, it became obvious to the Tuesday 
Club that a broader base must be found if the needs of the growing 
community were to be served. That pressure led them to the Y.W.C.A. 
After due consideration, affiliation with the national organization of 
Y.W.C.A. was effected in 1929. 

Coincident with this merger, the residence property on the corner 
of West North Water and Commercial Streets was purchased and 
remodeled to house the growing program. 



Y . W . C . A . 



449 



The Neenah-Menasha Y.W.C.A. has adapted its program from 
year to year in accordance with the trends in the changing needs of 
women and girls. Factors taken into account are the increase of em- 
ployment of all ages of women, the earlier age at which the largest 
group of young women marry, and the mobility of the population. 
Community resources for education and recreation are examined from 
time to time so that the Y.W.C.A. activities do not duplicate to any 
degree those that are ottered by civic and other volunteer agencies. 

Membership has been established in accordance with national policy 
on a fee sharing basis. Adult members reached a total of 500 in 1956. 
Educational and recreation programs are ottered through seven adult 
clubs and several projects, as interest warrants. At present the inter- 
ests are centered in crafts, making use of the remodeled Craft Work- 
shop on the second floor. Sports are less important as the community 
resources are increased, especially in the recreation departments. 

The eighty year old residence, thanks to adequate repairs and addi- 
tions to equipment, stands the test of time and many meetings. 

Among the adult clubs, one of the most popular is Welcome Stran- 
ger, formed for women who are new in the city. During their first year 
they make new friends at the “Y,” while within a few months they 
establish community contacts and find their place in community life. 

A demand for co-ed groups — single men and girls out of school — 
has had the backing of the “Y” for a decade. At present the Menasha 
and Neenah Recreation Departments cooperate with the Y.W.C.A. 
in providing facilities for larger gatherings or informal sings and game 
evenings. 

The building is much used by community groups for meetings. It 
is available at a nominal rate for receptions and showers. The spacious 
and attractive lounge provides an attractive meeting place for the 
community. 

The teen-agers have increasing facilities in churches and schools, 
with the result that the larger portion of the membership is in the 
seventh, eighth and ninth grades. Camp was discontinued, since 
churches otter co-ed camp. 

Reflecting the trend in the U.S.A., more and more of the young 
married women look to the “Y” for services. At present the Day 



450 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



Nursery offering the pre-kindergarten training four mornings a week 
has a registration of 120 three and four year old children. It is regis- 
tered with the State Department of Welfare-Children’s Division. 

Among the forward-looking activities is the bringing together of the 
foreign-born citizens of the community. At this writing an interna- 
tional group is in process of forming. 

Employed women have always been a chief concern of the Y.W.C.A. 
Clubs and classes have provided for their educational and recreational 
needs. However, clubs have diminished in importance as the interest 
span of young women has shortened. Short-term projects, such as craft 
classes and music listening groups, were tried. A single girls’ club, 
meeting monthly, is affiliated with the National Employed Girls’ 
group. This club provides a place for the new girl to make friends. 

Plans and policies of the Y.W.C.A. are under the direction of a 
Board of Directors of 21 representative women, elected for three-year 
terms by the members. Each branch of the Y.W.C.A. is autonomous. 
During the 27 years of its history, more than 200 have served on the 
Board. 

The Y.W.C.A. was a charter member of the Neenah-Menasha 
Community Chest. 

Compiled by Miss Helen E. Babcock and Miss Grace Me Lay 

As a postscript to the above, it should be recorded that Miss Helen Babcock’s 
vision and constancy is largely responsible for the Y.W.C.A. ’s present healthy condi- 
tion, as it was for the Y.W.’s predecessor, “The Young Women’s Club.” 

While many citizens had a hand in purchase of the present building and grounds, 
three women, Mrs. D. W. Bergstrom, Sr., Mrs. Carlton Smith and Miss Helen 
Babcock, carried the heavy end of the load. 



“From the story oj the fortitude., courage and devotion of 
men and women, we create the inspirations of youth." 

Herbert Hoover 



YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS 



Hoys' Hrigade 

The Boys’ Brigade of Neenah-Menasha had its inception one evening 
in the early fall of 1899, when Dr. J. E. Chapin, then pastor of the 
First Presbyterian Church, stopped to ask six boys why they were on 
the streets beyond the nine o’clock curfew. 

The patriotic fervor of the Spanish-American War was still warm. 
The boys wanted an “Army” where they could have military drill. 
Dr. Chapin said he would see what could be done. 

Something was done. Forty-six charter members of the Neenah 
Boys’ Brigade were signed up on January 22, 1900. Early leaders were 
Charles Johnson, Oscar Lindsey, George Jones, with Vernon Holden 
as drill master. In 1901, at Dr. Chapin’s insistence, Frank Shattuck 
took over. 

The Brigade started under the wing of the local Presbyterian 
Church. Being the only organization of its kind in the town, boys from 
other churches were naturally attracted to it. It soon became obvious 
that something must be done to avoid weakening the loyalty of boys 
to the church of their parents’ choice. Such thinking led to the adop- 
tion of two simple principles upon which the Brigade has developed 
across the years: 

1. Membership of a boy must rest upon regular attendance at the 
church or Sunday School of his parents’ choice. A monthly report 
card, to be presented during the active Brigade season, records 
the boy’s attendance at his own church or school. This record is 
an important factor in honors awards at the close of each Brigade 
season. 

2. A community is a better place in which to live in which boys of 
all faiths have the maximum of wholesome common experience 
together during their adolescent years. 

In 1947, the Community Chest was organized as a Twin City insti- 
tution, and the Boys’ Brigade became a charter member. Up to this 



45i 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



45 2 





The original Boys Brigade Building and the modern addition constucted in 1957. 




YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS 453 

time, various boys from Menasha had become members, but coinci- 
dent with Chest membership, the Brigade became a Twin City organi- 
zation. 

meeting places. — I. Michelson Hall, southwest corner of South Com- 
mercial Street and Columbian Avenue, where the present post office 
stands. 

2. An old skating rink, which stood near the corner of Church and 
Canal Streets. 

3. Lecture room of the Presbyterian Church (then located across 
the street to the west of the present sanctuary on Church Street). 

4. A gymnasium covered with corrugated metal, which stood on 
the site now occupied by Bergstrom Paper Company’s boiler plant. 



Boy’s Brigade basketball team: First row, left to right: Bill Vogt, Archie Benjamin, Edgar Jones, John 
LeTourneux, Neal Woodworth. Back row, left to right: Ralph Smith, coach, Ernest Draheim, George 
Paul, S. F. Shattuck. 




454 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



5. A building owned by the Danke Creamery, on South Commer- 
cial Street, was purchased in 1928 and remodeled for group meetings, 
with use of Wesley Hall of the Methodist Church for drill. When the 
Methodist Church burned in 1937, plans were laid to erect a gym- 
nasium adjoining the Boys’ Brigade building to the west. This build- 
ing, with toilet and bath facilities, was completed and came into serv- 
ice in 1938. 

6. On January 20, 1957, the new Brigade Building, fronting on 
Columbian Avenue, was dedicated. The Brigade opened its 58th sea- 
son in the fall of 1957 with 41 5 boys, 76 adult leaders, and 46 junior 
leaders, who are included in the roster of 415 boys. 



The Boys’ Brigade Association is an incorporated body. It holds 
title to the property, defines the policies and objectives, and, in gen- 
eral, maintains oversight of the program. As larger service opportuni- 
ties and increased responsibilities came into view with the new build- 
ing, the number of Directors was increased from twelve to twenty. 
This is a self perpetuating board. As these lines are written, the follow- 
ing nineteen citizens constitute its membership: 



S. F. Shattuck, President 
L. O. Schubart, Vice President 
L. C. Stilp, Secretary 
D. J. Jones, Treasurer 
N. H. Bergstrom 

D. K. Brown 

E. L. Rickard 
Harold Mennes 
Earl Graversen 

Dedric W. Bergstrom, Jr. 



Earl Williams 
Irwin Pearson 
Howard Angermeyer 
James Crust 
Arthur Rem ley 
Stanley Severson 
Arthur R. Hedlund 
Fred W. Grupe 
Carl L. Williams 



camping — The first summer camp was held in 1903 on the east shore 
of Lake Winnebago. In 1904 and 1905, camps were also held across 
the lake at a spot near the outlet of Mud Creek. A trip to the Dells of 
the Wisconsin was projected in the summer of 1906, and in 1907 oc- 
curred the first camp in the Waupaca lakes region. It was on the 1907 
expedition that a six-acre island at the north end of Rainbow Lake 
attracted the notice of the leaders. Permission was granted by the 
owners of the island to camp there in 1908 and again in 1910 and 1 9 J 1 , 
after which the island was purchased and renamed “Onaway.” 



YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS 



455 



Not only has Onaway been the site of the Brigade’s annual camps 
ever since, but an abiding love for Camp Onaway has taken root in the 
hearts of an untold number of local boys. This love and loyalty was 
demonstrated during the summer of 1955, when an out-of-door chapel 
was planned and financed by “Old Boys” who in their boyhood days 
had camped there. 

international camps — During the summer of 1952, one leader and 
three older boys represented the Neenah Company at an international 
camp in Denmark. Again, in 1954, two leaders and four boys attended 
a ten-day international encampment of Boys’ Brigades on the playing 
fields of Eton, in England. Here, as in Denmark, enduring friendships 
were formed with boys from the far places of the earth. Our boys came 
back from these international gatherings wondering why the United 
Nations couldn’t be conducted on the high level of understanding and 
international friendship that prevailed in the camps. 

Still another Brigade International Camp in Jamaica is listed for 
April, 1958, recognizing the 75th anniversary of the organization, to 
which the local Brigade expects to send ten boys and three leaders. 

leadership — The first captain, chosen by Dr. Chapin, was Vernon 
Holden. Following Frank Shattuck as captain, Harry Thomas tempo- 
rarily took over. During World War I, Waldemar Bergstrom and Ern- 
est Draheim carried on, succeeded by Leo Schubart, upon his return 
from overseas. Then came, in line of succession, Lyall Stilp, Paul 
Stacker, Howard Neubauer, Howard Angermeyer, Chester Witten- 
born, and, presently, Gordon Altenhofen. 

Space does not permit mention of the hundreds of men and older 
boys who have served in the expanding program of the Brigade 
through the years. In 1955-56, 58 men, plus older boys, constituted 
the leadership staff; 333 boys from the 6th grade through senior year 
in high school were enrolled. 

By 1951 the burden of detail on volunteer leadership became so 
heavy, that Jack Casper was employed as program coordinator, with 
office in the Brigade building on South Commercial Street, now in 
the new quarters on Columbian Avenue. 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



456 

From a half dozen boys on the steps of old Michelson Hall in the 
fall of 1899, has come the Boys’ Brigade that has carried on in these 
Twin Cities for more than 58 years. When the Neenah Boys’ Brigade 
began its life, there were no similar organizations for boys in this area. 
It antedated the Boy Scouts, which came into being in Britain prior 
to World War I, and appeared in the United States shortly thereafter. 
Progressing steadily during the ups and downs of the past half-cen- 
tury, the Boys’ Brigade has been a demonstration of the vitality of 
voluntary and unpaid leadership. 



Boy Scouting 

While some activity in Boy Scouting commenced in the Twin Cities 
soon after its introduction to the United States in 1910, no records 
exist of that activity. Among the oldest local troops still in existence 
today are those at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and the Congrega- 
tional Church. The former, Troop 3, was formed in 1921. The Troop 
Committee consisted of A. E. Arnemann, James C. Kimberly, and 
Rev. U. E. Gibson; and the Scoutmaster was Raymond E. Heron. 
Charter members were: Harold Arnemann, Kenneth Asmus, Emery 
Blenker, Floyd Burrows, Roy Casperson, Howard Christotferson, 
Roy Darling, Tom Darling, Kenneth Dean, Winfred Fenske, Urban 
Gibson, Earl Gonion, Maurice Hall, Neal Klausner, Kendall Leudtka, 
Alfred Moore, Franklin Otis, Robert Schwartz, and Henry Stowe. 

Troop 14 at the Congregational Church was formed in 1926. Its 
first Troop Committee included H. M. Northrup, E. H. Schultz and 
Rev. John Best with John C. Lloyd as Scoutmaster. Charter members 
were: Alan Adams, Evan Blount, Lyle Cornish, Leslie Dietz, Harold 
Kuester, Karl Kloepfel, George Prosser, and Frank Robinson. 

The Valley Council was organized in June of 1920 with the Appleton 
Rotary Club making application for its registration. Neenah and 
Menasha became part of the Council in 1923. The first Council camp- 
site was provided with the purchase of Camp Chicagami at the north 
end of Lake Winnebago in 1927. The site of our present camp at 
Gardner Dam was given to the Valley Council in 1933 by the Wiscon- 



YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS 



457 



sin-Michigan Power Co.; this includes 1450 acres along the Wolf River 
north of the Menominee Indian Reservation. Camp Chicagami was 
sold in 1939. 

Scouting has grown and continues to grow in the Twin Cities. It 
includes today approximately 1,000 boys in ten Cub Scout Packs, 
nine Boy Scout Troops, and four Explorer Units. 

Submitted by Harold Sperka 



Qirl Scouting 

The Rev. Albert A. Chambers, rector of St. Thomas Episcopal 
Church, organized the first Girl Scout troop in Neenah-Menasha on 
November 1, 1938. Miss Lucile Rusch was selected as leader for a 
troop of 24 girls and Mrs. John R. Kimberly was responsible for secur- 
ing funds in the community to sponsor the troop. 

By 1940 five troops were organized in the Twin Cities, working on 
such projects as backyard playgrounds, rally days, hospital favors 
and disposal bags for the hospital, collecting clothing for the needy, 
and Girl Scout cookie sales. Plans for establishment of a Girl Scout 
Council for Neenah and Menasha were under way. The National Girl 
Scout Headquarters sent Mrs. Hazel Barber, field representative to 
help organize the Council. Mrs. C. W. Nelson was elected chairman 
of the steering committee and when the Neenah-Menasha Council of 
Girl Scouts was chartered in March of 1 94 1 , she was elected first Com- 
missioner. Serving with her on the Board of Directors were: Mrs. 
John R. Kimberly, Deputy Commissioner, Mrs. C. G. R. Johnson, 
Registrar, Mrs. S. N. Pickard, Secretary and Mrs. Horace DuBois, 
Treasurer. Girl Scouting had grown to such an extent it was felt expe- 
dient by the Council to employ a full-time paid Executive Secretary. 
In October 1943, Miss Margaret Coles was employed to fill that posi- 
tion. 

Camping up to this point consisted of overnights at the Boy Scout 
camp on Lake Winnebago; however, the girls are now attending 
established Girl Scout camps. The summer of 1944, 75 Twin City 
girls attended Appleton’s Chalk Hills Camp and 45 attended Apple- 



A HISTORY OF NEENAH 



458 

ton’s Day Camp. Twin Lakes Camp was rented by the Neenah- 
Menasha Council of Girl Scouts for established camping the summer 
of 1945. 

In six years Girl Scouting in the Twin Cities had grown from one 
adult and 24 girls to 140 adults and 450 girls. 

A merger of the Appleton and Neenah-Menasha Councils of Girl 
Scouts was proposed in 1946. Believing that the Girl Scout organiza- 
tions of Neenah, Menasha and Appleton should work together more 
closely and realizing the greater benefit which girls in the area would 
reap under a combined organization, the Councils voted to merge in 
March of 1946. The merger proposed that the two organizations merge 
and a new area Council be elected to serve all three cities, each city 
to be represented equally on the new council; that Chalk Hills Camp 
be used by Scouts from all three cities, that one experienced Executive 
Secretary be employed to serve the three cities, with one field worker 
assisting her. Miss Esther E. Pickles was named new Executive Secre- 
tary of the Appleton-Neenah-Menasha Girl Scout Council. In 1947 
Kaukauna and Kimberly became a part of this jurisdiction and the 
whole new Council became known as the Fox River Area Girl Scout 
Council. The elected officers of the Board of Directors were: Mrs. 
Frank Biederman, Commissioner; Mrs. J. M. Holderby, 1st Deputy; 
Mrs. Bazil McKenzie, Treasurer; Mrs. R. N. LeVee, Secretary. Miss 
Joan Hickey was employed as the first Field Director of the Fox River 
Area Girl Scout Council. 

Girl Scout membership in the new Council grew by leaps and 
bounds. There were now 1283 girls ’ n Neenah-Menasha, Appleton, 
Kaukauna and Kimberly, enjoying a happy Girl Scout experience of 
camping, community service, fun and adventure in the eleven program 
fields of interest. 

Day Camping was made available once again in 1949 and 1950 for 
all of the Brownies and Intermediates, at Telulah Park in Appleton, 
with a goal in mind that some day the Council could own and operate 
its own Day & Troop Camp, and thereby offer a progressive program 
of camping to more girls. That goal became a reality in 1954 when a 
beautifully wooded 40 acre campsite, located in the city limits of 
Kaukauna, was purchased by the Fox River Area Girl Scout Council. 



YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS 



459 



144 Brownie, Intermediate and Senior Girl Scouts from the Twin 
Cities attended the Day Camp Winnecomac the first summer of its 
operation, under the direction of Miss Patricia Bodette, Field Direc- 
tor for the Council. 

On January 23, 1956 the Council voted to extend its jurisdiction to 
the counties of Outagamie, Shawano, including the entire Menomonie 
Indian Reservation, Waupaca, except the municipality of New Lon- 
don, Winnebago, the eastern half of Waushara county, and the town- 
ship of Harrison in Calumet county. 

Now, in 1956, with Mrs. R. B. Sawtell as President of the Fox 
River Area Council, and Mrs. Lloyd DuChaine as District Chairman 
of Girl Scouting in Neenah and Menasha, 747 Twin City girls in 52 
troops under the guidance of 264 adults are enjoying a Girl Scout 
experience. 

Compiled by Miss Patricia Bodette